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Four Months Ago, Besigye Rightly Predicted Museveni’s New Taxes, High Commodity prices, Tough Economic Times

Besigye in December 2017: business community will bear the brunt of the regime’s over taxation policy

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Opposition kingpin Dr Kizza Besigye rightly predicted a tough 2018 if the high commodity prices, and proposed taxes are anything to by, just four months into the year.

Government has proposed over 20 taxes that will raise over Shs 770bn.

Prices of essential commodities have also remained high.

Fuel prices and cement prices have gone up.

Although not an economist, four-time presidential candidate Dr Besigye predicted this just four months ago.

Besigye’s prediction was contained in  his end of 2017 message.

The business community will bear the brunt of the regime’s over taxation policy to raise enough resources largely to rent and finance it’s expanded patronage network.

Here is part of what Besigye said: 

During the year 2017, more than 3 million Ugandans were directly hit by hunger and nearly 10million experienced food shortage. This huge national crisis was a result of decades of poor planning, relentless destruction of the environment and perpetual under-funding to the Agriculture sector.

As People’s Government, with limited resources, we mobilized some food supplies for the affected people of Isingiro and Katakwi while people of Apaa in Amuru received both food supplies and some household items because they were starving and displaced.

With December harvests in most parts of Uganda, there is likely to be some relief but the problem will persist.

Uganda does not have national storage facilities to act as food reserves. National reserves would help to stabilize food prices during periods of shortage.

My prediction is that we shall, continue to experience food crises unless we make deliberate plans at the earliest moment to establish the reserves.

Besides high food prices, 2018 will see higher prices for virtually all commodities and utilities.

Fuel prices will likely go up, electricity tariffs will go up, water bills have already been increased and generally the cost of living will be unbearably higher for ordinary citizens, yet majority have no jobs while the few with jobs will remain underpaid

The business community will bear the brunt of the regime’s over taxation policy to raise enough resources largely to rent and finance it’s expanded patronage network.

Living standards and people’s incomes will continue to decline.

The UBOS report that indicated an increase in overall poverty levels from 19% to 27% should be a matter of greater concern in 2018.

The economy will continue to struggle as a result of slower growth- dismally slower than 2017.

The economic volatility arises out of years of mismanagement and weak Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) inflows.

The collapse of Crane Bank in 2017, months before the regulator Bank of Uganda took over it’s management, acclaimed as one of the top four commercial banks in Uganda, should be a remainder that failure to conduct thorough supervision on the industry can have catastrophic consequences.

The Central Bank must reform and strengthen its supervisory mechanisms to ensure the banking sector is protected.

However It is not only the wellness of citizens that is a crisis but rather, the very existence and survival of the state.

Additional Reporting: Courtesy

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