Museveni on Theft of Tax Revenue: Corrupt ‘Pigs’ in My Government are a Smaller problem, They Steal Little Money
Museveni Calls Corrupt URA Officials 'Pigs'
President Yoweri Museveni has responded to attacks on his government over the misuse of tax revenue as Ugandans continue to protest taxes on social media and mobile money.
In a long response on social media reactions to his July 4 statement on the new taxes, a one Brenda Margaret, had told the president that the ‘pigs’ in his government are filling their stomachs.
“Otherwise, people would not mind paying taxes because we all want the country to develop,” noted Margaret.
In response, Museveni has said that thieves were a smaller problem.
This is what Museveni wrote:
Corrupt and unpatriotic pigs in government either steal the money or spend it on themselves (ego-centrism).
That is certainly true to some extent.
However, they steal or misuse the money that is already collected in the form of taxes. They cannot steal or misuse money that is not yet collected.
The only pigs that can steal money which is not yet collected in taxes are the officials of URA and the Ministry of Finance who deliberately cover up areas of possible tax collection and share the money with the possible tax payers instead of the money developing our country by having a self- sufficient budget (embalira ya sente eyeggwanga eyemerira).
What the broader category of pigs steal or misuse is part of the 14.2% of the tax:GDP ratio that is already collected as Govt revenue.
“Therefore, while corruption and the ego-centrism of the elite in Govt are problems, the bigger problems are a small GDP in the past and even when the GDP started growing, we still have had the persistent under-collection of taxes as a proportion of GDP.”
On the issue of expanding the size of the GDP, the NRM has acquitted itself admirably on that front because the average rate of growth of the economy in the last 32 years has been 7% per annum.
It is the GDP:tax ratio that has remained low. Since we are developing our country, we need enough money to do so and we must handle all the 3 problems: corruption, selfish use of the money by elements of the elite and the under-collection of taxes compared to the growing size of the GDP.
Some countries in Europe go up to 30% of GDP: tax ratio. Our 14.2% is too low even if there was no corruption etc.