FINANCING PARLIAMENT COST THE TAX PAYER UGX 198.7BN IN SIX MONTHS

Published by Patra K on

Financing Parliament Cost the Tax Payer UGX 198.7bn in Six Months

Law makers in Parliament. (Photo courtesy of the second opinion.)

Financing the welfare and emoluments of Members of the 10th Parliament for the first half of the current Financial Year (2020/2021) has cost the Ugandan Taxpayer UGX 198.7 billion ($544,383). This is the same financial year in which general elections were conducted.

In terms of financial performance, this is poor because it constitutes only 29.5% of the budget allocation for the financial year. The budget allocation to Parliament for the financial year under review is UGX 672.829 billion ($184.3 million).

By the end of December 2020, only UGX 350.385 billion ($96 million) representing 52.1% of the budget allocation had been disbursed. These funds were tagged as wage – UGX 44.889 billion, nonwage – UGX 236.687 billion, and development expenditure – UGX 4.766 billion.

The development budget particularly had a poor half-year performance of 7.3%. Even then, only 11.7% was spent by end of December 2020. Further analysis reveals Parliamentary support services had an allocation of UGX 223.79bn in the FY 2020/21 of which UGX 92.99bn (41,6%) was released.

Parliamentary commission Annual Budget Performance FY 2020/21

Particulars

(UGX’ 000,000)

Approved budget

672.829

H1 release

350.385

% of budget released

52.1%

Development Budget

65.691

Development Budget release

40.651

% of budget released

61.9%

Non-Wage Recurrent

520.205

Non-Wage Recurrent Budget release

263.967

% of budget released

50.7%

Source: Ministry of Finance Planning and Economic Development

In the H1 FY 2020/21, the development budget for the Parliamentary Commission had a poor performance. This was on account of the slow progress on the new chambers for the members of parliament but also the purchase of new tablets and furniture for the new MPs was slow.

 

Parliamentary Commission H1 FY 2020/21 budget performance (UGX in Billions)

Source: Ministry of Finance Planning and Economic Development

In the coming financial years, the burden of Parliament on the Ugandan taxpayer will increase because the number of legislators has after the elections of January 2021, grown exponentially from 445 to 529. And there are emergent questions on value for money. The tenure of office of the current Parliament will expire on May 12 after the President-elect is sworn in for the new term.

However, following the electoral loss of over 75% of the incumbent Members of Parliament in the January 14, 2021, general elections, many of them have abandoned Parliament yet they continue to receive their monthly emoluments. This is the nature of the burden the Uganda taxpayer shoulders.

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