On July 1, a set of new tax rules went into effect in the African country of Uganda. Many people are upset over this, and a tech company has even filed a lawsuit against the government. So, what’s all the ruckus about? It’s a new tax on social media. Yoweri Museveni, the president of Uganda since 1986, complained about online gossip back in March. He said that the finance minister had to raise money “to cope with the consequences.” Now, in addition to usual fees, Ugandans must pay around W50 a day in order to access the internet. Naturally, many people are quite upset.
Ladislaus Rwakafuuzi, a human rights lawyer, said that the tax was brought in bad faith. He said, “The reasons for it were anti-people and anti-social, not development-oriented.” According to Joan Nyanyuki, a director at Amnesty International, the tax strips people of their right to communicate. He explained, “By making people pay for using social media, this tax will render these avenues of communication inaccessible for low-income earners, robbing many people of their right to freedom of expression, with a chilling effect on other human rights.” In response, a government spokesperson said, “The tax is very small. People in Uganda will not find it too expensive.”
Chris Hong Copy Editor (email@example.com)
1. How do many people and companies feel about the new tax on social media?
2. What does a director at Amnesty International Joan Nyanyuki think about the new tax on social media?
3. How does a government spokesperson consider about the new tax?
1. How are taxes spent in your country?
2. Do you think paying tax is necessary?
3. Should poor people be exempt from paying tax?