Country Tries Social Media Tax And MILLIONS Are Logging Off!
There are certain things that it’s perfectly normal to charge for, even when it comes to technology.
For example, we have all been in an office supply store where they charge you a dime to make a copy of something. It’s not because they want to get rich off of you.
It’s mostly for the upkeep of the machine and all of that. Same thing for something that I had to deal with when I was first in the Navy.
My first six or seven months in the Navy I spent that time in Great Lakes, Illinois. During that amount of time the base would see a lot of people coming in and going out depending on how long their respective tech schools were.
In most of the recreation facilities you would see a computer terminal that was set up like a vending machine or sorts. You would put money in and for a certain amount of money you would get a certain amount of time. Now, it was a little pricey looking back on it but at the end of the day I can see why.
It was because there were so many people passing through and using the machines that they had to make sure that they had enough to sustain upkeep costs on these machines.
That being said, once you paid you weren’t limited to what websites you could go on. Putting a tax on a website itself is something no realistic society would ever do.
Taxing goods and services that taxpayers cannot presumably live without has long been a staple in the toolbox of governments seeking creative and innovative ways to increase their revenue.
But as a counterpoint to the established wisdom come reports from Uganda that a social media tax has resulted in a massive drop off in the use of the social media sites that were the focus of the tax.
Since the tax has been introduced, the nation has tracked a drop of more than 2.5 million subscriptions to services covered by the tax such as Facebook, WhatsApp and Twitter, The Guardian reported.
The tax is 200 Ugandan shillings a day.
“The tax is an absolute insult to Ugandans … we already buy data which the government taxes, why should we again have to pay this money to government to access these platforms?” Dickens Kamugisha of Kampala said.
“And in any case these are now essential communications channels that people use to reach loved ones, communicate with friends, socialites and mobilize civically … the tax reflects the highest form of greed,” he said. Kamugisha works for a charity.
“The tax has not generated the revenue the government anticipated,” said Irene Ikomu, a lawyer based in the capital, Kampala.
Paul Cis of Nov Mobile Limited said he’s had to lay off workers because of the tax.
“Customers are not happy about (the tax). Many have resisted it,” he said. “It has made business very difficult. I can’t manage to pay employees and pay rent.”