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Tighten Belts! Losers of 2017 Budget Revealed

The 2017/18 Shs30trn budget is about to be passed and adopted by the Parliament of Uganda.

If passed unchanged, Uganda Revenue Authority (URA) will be expected to raise Shs14.5 trillion in 2017/18 Financial Year, up from Shs12.6 trillion in 2016/17.

This means that government is no doubt going to come up with a number of tax measures in order to raise the above amount.

The five tax policy measures government has proposed include Value Added Tax (VAT), Income Tax, Excise Duty, Customs, Non Tax Revenues and Tax Administration.

In this article, Business Focus brings to you groups of Ugandans set to lose out on this budget.

If beer, wine, spirits or any other alcoholic drinks is your thing, then expect to dig deep into your pockets  as government is yet to increase taxes on such items.

It is worth noting that Uganda is one of the leading consumers of alcohol in the world.

Additionally, as government looks at hitting tax collection target, consumers of soft drinks like sodas and juice may also be affected if the producers increase prices since government is set to introduce new taxes on players in the beverages industry.

Government expects to raise at least Shs32.46bn in tax revenue from the above items.

Smokers have also not been spared. Following the passing of the Tobacco Control Act 2015 that puts tight regulations on the tobacco industry, the government seems determined to get rid of the industry in the country.  Government is set to increase tax on cigarettes, with the price of the soft cap set to increase to Shs50, 000, up from Shs45, 000 to Shs50, 000. This increment is expected to raise Shs3bn in tax revenue.

A number of Ugandans are set to be affected by the reinstatement of taxes on wheat flour.

If reinstated, urban dwellers who survive on bread, rolex, chapattis and other wheat related products may end up digging more into their pockets as prices of wheat related products are set to increase.

Wheat flour is mainly imported and Government argues that the move will help minimize revenue losses from the earlier tax exemption and promote wheat growing in Uganda.


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