New tax hikes are pushing Ethiopians to protests the government.
BY BBC NEWS
There are reports that military and police have been deployed to parts of Ethiopia’s Oromia state following protests over a new business tax that has been introduced recently.
The Addis Standard newspaper says that last week residents in one city, Ambo, damaged two state-owned vehicles, and this week businesses in other cities have shut in protest.
The new tax is being levied on small businesses with an annual turnover of up to 100,000 birr ($4,300; £3,300) in an effort to boost the tax base and raise much needed government revenue.
But the Addis Standard reports that business owners say tax assessors have over-estimated their revenue and are demanding too much.
It quotes one hairdresser who has been asked to pay $400, which is not much less than she earns a year.
The government says that there has been a misunderstanding about the tax rates and has tried to address the problems.
Last year, Oromia was hit by a wave of anti-government protests which led to the establishment of a state of emergency.
Security stepped up in #Ethiopia's Oromiya region following protests against tax increases for small businesses. Shops shut in some towns.
— Mary Harper (@mary_harper) July 18, 2017
#Ethiopia: #Oromia state PR head @addisu_arega confirmed businesses & transport in #Ambo & #Woliso still shut in protest of new tax hike pic.twitter.com/cAZUQsYYxa
— Addis Standard (@addisstandard) July 18, 2017
At least in two towns of #Oromia, Woliso and Guder, transport service providers in strike in protest to new tax rates. #OromoProtests pic.twitter.com/OiknRBd1oA
— Befeqadu Z. Hailu | በፍቃዱ ዘ. (@befeqe) July 17, 2017