I paid my Tax. Where are the services?
It’s a bright morning and we are headed to a meeting on another thorny issue, well not thorny yet – Taxation! Part taking to this meeting are Local Council IIs and IIIs as well as various office holders within the Sub County, generally tax payers.
We are in Ivukula sub-county. I have been in larger Namutumba for a while now and as such, the slow start and lazy walk-ins and a seldom busy registration desk are not new since I know that before long, the hall will be full to capacity.
Poor governance is the key cause of poverty. Global citizens suffer when governments do not provide requisite services for dignified livelihood. Serious problems with governance still exist in much of Africa – but the overall situation is steadily improving. Working with governments to improve the way public resources are used is an important part of Action Aid’s intervention strategies.
The issue of TAX remission is age old, but many of us seldom interact to discuss it. Many more hardly ever interrogate where the TAX that we pay ends up on purchase simplistic items such as a match box, a candle or a bar of soap. It just seems foreign because there is no one talking about it and those who do do not break down the understanding to the common citizenry who is so engulf with ways of basic survival on a daily basis. Discussion issues at national level are not contextualized enough for the green grocer; charcoal dealer neither is it for the learned teacher and the local business man however much they are heavily and timely taxed!
Towards closure, the LCIII himself surges out of his shell and reiterates the problems them face them as leaders. There is no clear distinction between the role of Government, Development Partners and The Community in the issue of Growth and Development. Services belatedly and halfheartedly provided by the Government are used as political carrots when they are in essence, THE RIGHT OF THE COMMUNITY in a timely and qualitative manner!
I quote the LCIII….“I don’t know how to change it, but I know if WE keep talking about how “dirty” it is out here, someone is going to “clean it up”!!
Taxation citizenry OBLIGATION. Quality service provision is a Government’s DUTY!