Budget 2015…not helpful at all.
At around the same time last year when Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak, our Prime Minister announced Budget 2014, one of my colleagues would raise up the radio’s volume and the others would listen carefully to what he was proposing on the allocation of national budget to various sectors. Today, our Prime Minister is announcing on the Budget 2015 (for next year), but nobody cares to even hear a word of it this time and even switched radio channel to avoid hearing his voice. Hahaha….How come? Even my colleagues harbor no hope to the budget which is something we as adults should be concerned of.
Why is that so? The budget allocation isn’t helpful at all especially to us in the middle-class society. Besides than receiving no financial assistance from the government, we in this particular group has to also endure all the rising cost of living and of course most recently, the 20 cents hike in petrol. Nobody here is happy for that. Then, the introduction of GST (Goods and Services Tax) next year will even add more burden to the people. All these are pushing us to the poor zone soon. Salary never increase while all the costs of living escalate like there is no tomorrow.
Here are some major points of the Budget 2015 announced just now:
- No GST (Goods and Service Tax) imposed on RON95 petrol, diesel, and LPG.
- Income tax rates to be cut by one to three percentage points.
- Families with monthly income of less than RM4,000 will not have to pay tax.
- Government revenue estimated at RM23.2bil with implementation of GST.
- Government to exempt goods (fruits, bread, coffee powder, some types of mee, medicines, some essential daily stuff) from GST amounting to a total of RM3.8bil.
- With GST implementation, Sales and Services Tax (SST) abolished, resulting in revenue foregone of RM13.8bil.
- RM4.9bil to be channelled back to the people through assistance programmes such as the increase in Bantuan Rakyat 1Malaysia (BR1M).
- BR1M for those earning RM3,000 and below will be increased to RM950 from RM650.
- For those earning RM3,000 to RM4,000, BR1M increased to RM750 (from RM450).
- Salaries and allowances of politicians will be reviewed (means increased).
- A half-month bonus with a minimum payment of RM500 to be paid in January 2015 for civil servants.
- Several infrastructure projects will be implemented – 59km Sungai Besi-Ulu Klang Expressway (SUKE) with total construction cost of RM5.3bil; 276km West Coast Expressway from Taiping to Banting (RM5bil); 47km Damansara-Shah Alam Highway (DASH)(RM4.2bil); 36km Eastern Klang Valley Expressway (EKVE)(RM1.6bil); 56km Second MRT Line from Selayang to Putrajaya (estimated RM23bil); LRT 3 Project linking Bandar Utama to Shah Alam and Klang (about RM9bil); and RM150mil upgrading of East Coast railway line.
- RM223.4bil for operating expenditure, RM50.5bil for development expenditure.
- RM65.6bil for emoluments, RM38.1bil for supplies and services.
- RM29.3bil allocated to the economic sector.
- RM12.6bil allocated to the social sector for education, training, health, housing and well-being of society.
- RM4.9bil earmarked for the security sector, RM1.7bil for general administration and RM2bil for contingencies.
- For 2015, economic growth expected to remain strong between 5% and 6%, fiscal deficit projected to further decline to 3% of GDP.
Most of the families now have total monthly income exceeding 4 to 5k and yet still couldn’t endure the high costs of living. We can hardly save much nowadays eventhough we already tried our best on minimizing our spending. And these families (the majority) aren’t entitled to any benefits from this budget (also from previous budgets). That is a major disappointment. That is why we said this budget is something we don’t care. We understood that priority should comes first to the poor group, but handing out those BR1M annually to them isn’t a long-term solution in any means too. While on the other hand, the politicians and civil servants enjoy the increment of salary and allowances. They would never felt the suffering Malaysians had now living in this mess.
And what’s the point of initiating so many highway or railway projects? We have plenty of roads and highways already. Waste of money while these infrastructure projects aren’t really helpful on reducing traffic congestion. On the other hand, our Prime Minister mentioned today that he hoped that no traders will raise price of goods unreasonably, but this is something we witness very frequently nowadays (on food and groceries mostly). And yet, no action is taken. So, who is going to pay the price? It is still us. Besides that, the budget also didn’t address much on the affordable housing issue. So, we have to stick to the fact that buying a house (now at least RM300k and above) nowadays is impossible to 99% of youngsters.
Well, that sums up my opinions on this rather not helpful Budget 2015. Will this measures bring benefit to the country and its people? Not really.
(Image and information in this post are from TheStarOnline, http://www.thestar.com.my)