Imposing Tax on Diapers Was a Bad Idea—MP Kabahenda

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Members of the Ugandan Parliament have expressed regret over their decision to impose a tax on diapers, saying that the tax has instead made diapers very expensive for the elderly and people with disabilities who depend on them to preserve their dignity in society.

According to Flavia Rwabuhoro Kabahenda, the woman member of Parliament representing Kyegegwa district in the 11th Parliament and also chairperson of the Parliament Committee on Gender, Labour and Social Development, they made a mistake by imposing taxes on diapers.

“We thought we were helping parents to decrease the use of diapers, which we thought would spoil their children’s reproductive health, but we have discovered that there are elderly people and people with disabilities who need to use diapers,” Kabahenda said.

She added that, during the World Disability Day held in Mbarara, they realised that the people with hydrocephalus and Spina bifida were living on pampers, and they had become expensive since the time the tax was imposed on them.

However, Rose Obigah, the woman member of parliament for Terego district, urged MPs not to go back and forth with the diaper tax, saying that the tax was imposed because diapers are a luxury and there is a need to reduce their excessive use.

“Diapers have started to impact the fertility of men in Uganda, and they are a luxury; we would prefer to use nappies,” Obigah said.

Legislators approved a tax on diapers and rejected a proposal to exempt payment of taxes on adult diapers. This was contained in the Value Added Tax Amendment Bill, 2023 which the lawmakers passed on Thursday, 04 May 2023.

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