Turalei butchers, gov’t lock horns over meat prices

In Turalei, Twic County, nobody is going to eat meat today after butchers laid down their tools in protest against high taxes.

The butchers did not slaughter any goat, sheep, or cow on Tuesday morning because they said the government would allow they to increase the prices after it increases taxes.

In the area, a health goat costs between 50,000 and 80,000 South Sudanese Pounds. The seller would pay the town authorities 1,250 Pounds as tax.

But new government tax rates demand that a goat seller pays 2,450 Pounds to the municipal council, prompting the butchers’ union to increase the meat price from 2,500 to 3,500 South Sudanese Pounds – price increases the local government disapproved of, triggering the protest.

“The local government did not accept our price increment. And therefore, we stopped working,” said Garang Noon, head of the butchers’ union at Turalei market.

Noon argued that they had to increase the meat prices to cover the losses incurred on local taxes.

In response, Marko Akech, Turalei town administrator, said the authorities are implementing Warrap State tax policy.

“Taxes have not only been increased on the meat, but all the commodities; and therefore, we are hopeful to improve based on the government and people’s interests,” Akech said, adding that the government and butchers were “in discussion to reach a solution”.