The Speaker of Parliament Rebecca Kadaga has directed the cancellation of a contract that would see Parliament pay Over the Top (OTT) tax for legislators. Parliament had crafted an arrangement to pay the tax calculated at a monthly rate of 6,000 Shillings and provide 5GB data bundles for each of the 458 legislators.
According to bid documents, up to 198 million Shillings would be spent on the packages, for which MTN Uganda had been selected as the best bidder. But the plan met stern resistance from the public many of who condemned Members of Parliament for demonstrating selfishness by evading a tax they imposed on Ugandans.
But Kadaga told journalists at Parliament on Thursday 2oth that MPs must pay their individual taxes, and that she has directed the clerk to Parliament to cancel the contract for the provision of OTT and Data services to MPs.
Parliament Commissioners Robinah Nabbanja and Peter Ogwang had defended the expenditure saying that it’s a way of facilitating work that requires online presence for Members of Parliament. They said that the iPads that were given to the members require active data services to be functioning.
Parliament approved the social media tax that requires every social media user in Uganda to pay a daily rate of 200 Shillings in order to access social media pages such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram on May 30, last year.
The tax drew outrage from several Ugandans, saying it would curtail access to information. Several legislators supported the social media tax, saying it would generate additional income for the government.