The tax debate is headed to the august House. This time it is not on whether Members of Parliament should be paying tax or not, neither is it about if the Treasury is unduly holding on to refunds of investors.
The impending contest is also not about which company is evading paying to Caesar what belongs to Caesar and such endless clatter.
The debate is on whether the Treasury should be allowed to levy a 16 per cent Value Added Tax on some basic essential commodities.
The VAT Bill will also see zero-rated goods become taxable at 16 per cent rate. The goods that stand to be affected include milk and cream (except unprocessed milk), maize and wheat flour, bread, infant formula, mosquito nets, computer software, sanitary towels and tampons, medical dressings and plasters, writing or drawing chalk, newspapers, journals and periodicals, exercise books and printed books and cinematographic cameras and projectors.
Other currently zero-rated services which will become taxable at 16 per cent include electrical energy to domestic households, water drilling services, and services to film producers.
Only kerosene and jet fuel will attract no tax.
As such, it is an issue that should be handled sanely and thoroughly thought through.
What is puzzling, however, is that even from the onset, critical issues that should be used as guiding points to sane deliberation have already been thrown off the window ledge by legislators and lobby groups.
It now seems to be a game of cheap and populist politics with politicians and lobby groups alike in a blanket opposition to the proposal.
None has also stated the options available or the compromise in the event of the new laws not passing through.