By Max Patrick Ocaido
PARLIAMENT. Parliament has clarified on media reports that quoted Obongi County MP Kaps Fungaroo saying that government should pay for MPs Over The Top (OTT) Tax to enable them access social media services.
On Thursday, FDC’s Fungaroo rose on point of procedure seeking guidance following the inconveniences caused by their inability to pay OTT Tax on their iPads, thus constraining their activities. His statement was conceived on social media and some sections of the media as a move being orchestrated by MPs to push the burden on tax payers to pay for them the taxes.
In a statement issued on Friday, Parliament has clarified saying that it is incorrect for some sections of the media to distort the MP’s contribution to the debate, urging that MPs have personal phones that they use for communication, including social media, for which they pay the OTT Tax.
Moses Bwalatum, the Principal Communication officer at Parliament said that Fungaroo’s statement was misconceived by the media and that the MP was simply seeking for guidelines on a flexible system to allow MPs load bundles or pay OTT using their iPads.
“MPs are provided iPads by the Parliamentary Commission to facilitate their legislative duties. In a move to cut costs on expenses incurred on printing bulky reports, statements, and other communication, all Parliament reports/documents are uploaded onto their iPads. This is in line with the move to have a paperless Parliament. The iPads however, remain the property of Parliament. By the nature of the data contract signed with Parliament before the advent of the OTT Tax, it is only the service provider that can load bundles on the MPs iPads,” the statement says.
“It is in the inability for Members to pay for the OTT Tax on their iPads that the MP rose to seek guidance from the House. The MP asked Parliament to revisit the terms of the contract to either allow them pay for their OTT Tax or the service provider bears the cost because their restricted access is constraining their work and interaction with their constituents and the public,” the statement adds.
Bwalatum adds that it is therefore not correct to say that MPs want their OTT Tax paid for by Parliament because “they are already paying the tax on their personal communication gadgets.”