Opposition MPs Protest Vat On Diapers
Opposition female Members of Parliament have come out to protest the new Value Added Tax -VAT imposed on diapers under the Value Added Tax (Amendment) Bill, 2023 passed by Parliament last week. Parliament rejected a proposal to exempt adult diapers from VAT and instead approved a tax on diapers across the board
Diapers have been VAT exempt in the past years and now the government seeks to raise Shs2.6 billion from VAT on diapers.
While passing the Value Added Tax Amendment Bill,2023 last week, parliament approved VAT on both Adult and baby diapers although the government proposal was on baby diapers alone. But the new tax has sparked off an uproar from the public terming it insensitive to health issues. Opposition female MPs have joined the public to denounce the new tax on diapers citing the negative implications of the tax on the productivity of mothers, the hygiene of babies, and the elderly.
Female legislators claim that imposing taxes on diapers will adversely affect the mothers’ productive time, reducing household incomes and ultimately national revenue. They claim that diapers improve the quality of life for mothers and make it possible for them to continue doing productive work.
Addressing the press at parliament, lawmakers noted that the tax on diapers was not well researched and there is no clear background as to why the government is imposing the increment. They argued that the 2.6bn that which government projects to collect from VAT on diapers is not comparable to what will be lost once the tax takes effect.
Christine Kaaya, the Shadow Minister for Water and Environment, asked the government to invent plans for proper waste management of diapers instead of reducing the use of the product through over-taxation.
Meanwhile, the female MPs indicated that they shall launch a campaign to compel the government to fulfill its pledge of providing free sanitary pads to students which were made in 2016.
The Value Added Tax Amendment Bill, 2023 is currently before the president pending signature. Once assented to the new tax on diapers will start biting on 1st July.
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