Table of Contents

  • One of the most important areas of government macroeconomic policy is the national budget. The budget is a powerful policy instrument that shapes development and is thus a strategic entry point for influencing national gender responsiveness. Gender budget analyses examine public expenditure or revenue raising and link national policies and their outcomes to the gendered distribution, use and generation of public resources. The theoretical underpinning of gender budgeting is the understanding that policies, plans, programmes and budgets have different impacts on women and men (and girls and boys). By identifying the implications on women relative to men, gender budget analysis can highlight gaps between policy goals and the resources committed for their implementation. It can also elucidate unseen hindrances to reaching the stated development objectives, which can lead to reprioritisation of expenditure and revenue-raising measures.

  • The roots of taxation in Uganda lie in the hut tax, which was introduced in 1900 by the then British colonial administration. The hut tax was levied on any building that was used as a dwelling-place and was payable in money or labour, enforced on a per household basis. The household in this case referred to a collection of not more than four huts in a separate and single enclosure and inhabited by a man and his wife or wives. The head of household, assumed to be the man, was responsible for paying the tax. This colon ial policy greatly contributed to the delineation of the market economy from the unpaid care economy, with the latter being defined as female space. This ideology has been consolidated, heightened and reinforced by post-colonial fiscal policies, including revenue-generation regimes.

  • One of the most important areas of government macroeconomic policy is the national budget. The budget is a powerful policy instrument that shapes development and is thus a strategic entry point for influencing national gender responsiveness. Gender budget analyses examine public expenditure or revenue raising and link national policies and their outcomes to the gendered distribution, use and generation of public resources. The theoretical underpinning of gender budgeting is the understanding that policies, plans, programmes and budgets have different impacts on women and men (and girls and boys). By identifying the implications on women relative to men, gender budget analysis can highlight gaps between policy goals and the resources committed for their implementation. It can also elucidate unseen hindrances to reaching the stated development objectives, which can lead to reprioritisation of expenditure and revenue-raising measures.

  • The roots of taxation in Uganda lie in the hut tax, which was introduced in 1900 by the then British colonial administration. The hut tax was levied on any building that was used as a dwelling-place and was payable in money or labour, enforced on a per household basis. The household in this case referred to a collection of not more than four huts in a separate and single enclosure and inhabited by a man and his wife or wives. The head of household, assumed to be the man, was responsible for paying the tax. This colon ial policy greatly contributed to the delineation of the market economy from the unpaid care economy, with the latter being defined as female space. This ideology has been consolidated, heightened and reinforced by post-colonial fiscal policies, including revenue-generation regimes.

  • Women and men occupy different and unequal economic and social positions and roles; they undertake different activities, face different constraints and accordingly make different choices (Sharp, 1999). In order to understand what the implications of different types of revenue generation are on women and men, it is important to analyse the dynamics of unequal gender relations in the economic sphere.

  • Since, as discussed above, women and men have different and unequal economic and social positions and roles, they are affected differently by revenue generation measures. Men bear the burden of most direct taxes because they are likely to be formally employed, be corporate persons and be service providers (hotels, telecommunication) and commercial property owners (see Table 4.1). Indirect taxes on goods such as beer, spirits and cigarettes also primarily fall on men as the main consumers. However, as the prices of these goods increase, household consumption patterns may be affected as money that would be otherwise be spent on meeting family basic needs is spent instead on alcohol or cigarettes. The tax burden on essential household necessities such as salt, sugar and soap is, however, likely to be borne directly by women, who are responsible for taking care of their families. Also, if one factors in women’s unpaid work in the care economy, which averages more than 10 hours a day, their contribution to revenue becomes enormous.

  • Equity in revenue generation is achieved if the burden of maintaining public expenditure is borne by the taxable corporate and individual entities in proportion to their ability to pay. A system is considered to be horizontally equitable when individuals of the same economic capacity pay the same amount of taxes per year or over a lifetime. Vertical equity is achieved when individuals of differing economic ability pay different amounts of taxes. The efficiency of the system is assessed at two levels. A system is considered efficient if it yields maximum revenue. At the same time, it should not disturb, or should disturb only minimally, production and consumption patterns.

  • Government’s revenue generation measures affect a wide range of social and economic decisions due to the fact that they alter both disposable income and relative prices of goods and services. Decisions about work, savings, consumption and investment are influenced by taxes. The main tax policy objective is to raise revenue through ad hoc increases in tax rates to achieve targets with little regard to the impact on women and men.