RM27bil for subsidies

PUTRAJAYA: The Government has set aside RM27bil in the recently-announced mini budget to finance various subsidies to ensure that Malaysians will not be overly burdened during the current economic slowdown, Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak said.

He said an additional RM830mil had also been set aside for more social safety net programmes.

While the Government had not lowered personal income tax, other forms of assistance were in place for the people, he added.

Najib said corporations would enjoy tax relief worth RM1.5bil as announced in the mini budget and this was aimed at spurring more activities to boost the economy.

“The Government still needs revenue not only to generate economic growth but also for expenses. There are salaries to be paid, pensions to be released and at the end of the year, people are hoping for bonuses.

“It will spell trouble if we start borrowing money to pay for these expenses. We provide relief to taxpayers but we also have to be realistic. We need cash flow,” he told reporters after launching the Inland Revenue Board’s Electronic Services Campaign yesterday.

Najib, who is also Finance Minister, was asked if there were plans to reduce the income tax for individuals as taxpayers were feeling the pinch because of the economic slowdown.

In his speech, Najib said the IRB’s revenue collection of RM90bil last year was a new record, adding that efficient tax collection was important.

“The more revenue we collect, the more we can do for the people. We must support such efforts while at the same time, the Government is committed to ensuring that the people are not burdened.

“We constantly look into ways to provide tax relief,” he said, adding that in Malaysia, only 10% of employees pay income tax.

Najib said the IRB’s efforts to provide electronic services should be supported as this would do away with dozens of tax forms.

Source : The Star

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