The Impact of Taxes, Transfers, and Subsidies on Inequality and Poverty in Uganda
This paper uses the 2012/13 Uganda National Household Survey to analyze the redistributive effectiveness and impact on poverty and inequality of Uganda's revenue collection instruments and social spending programs. Fiscal policy - including many of its constituent tax and spending elements - is inequality-reducing in Uganda, but the reduction of inequality due to fiscal policy in Uganda is lower than other countries with similar levels of initial inequality, a result tied to low levels of spending in Uganda generally. The impact of fiscal policy on poverty is negligible, while the combination of very sparse coverage of direct transfer programs and nearly complete coverage of indirect tax instruments means that many poor households are net payers into, rather than net recipients from, the fiscal system. As Uganda looks ahead to increased revenues from taxation and concurrent investments in productive infrastructure, it should take care to protect the poorest households from further impoverishment from the fiscal system.
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