Oct 26: There is nothing special in Budget 2014, says
PAS leaders, citing absence of ‘big steps’ to strengthen
the fiscal position of the country.
“Goods and services tax (GST) as predicted. Budget 2014
should have been about fighting corruption, stopping
leakages, prudent spending and not about raising taxes
to increase revenue,” PAS deputy president Mohamad Sabu
told Harakahdaily today.
Yesterday, Prime Minister Najib Razak had tabled the
Budget 2014 that included the debut of GST in 2015 at a
whopping 6 percent.
Amid the furore against the wastages and leakages
reported in the Auditor General’s Report 2012, operating
expenditure in Budget 2014 is increased by RM15.8
billion from RM201.9 billion in 2013 to RM217.7 billion
in 2014, a figure higher than the increase in overall
revenue at RM15.5 billion, from RM208.6 billion in 2013
to RM224.1 billion in 2014.
On GST, PAS research centre director Dzulkefly Ahmad
said the six percent debut rate is too high.
“Najib has also announced the reduction in income and
corporate tax at the same time. This is inappropriate,
as the lower income group will not get the benefits. 6
percent of GST is too high, Singapore only started at 3
percent,” he said.
Not denying that GST is a measure to increase revenue,
Dzulkefly however cautioned that the implementation must
not done in haste due to the complexity of the system.
“Accountants and officers will need to learn. 18 months
might not be sufficient,” said Dzulkefly, referring to
GST debut date of April 1, 2015.
Echoing PAS information chief Tuan Ibrahim Tuan Man,
Dzulkefly also warned the people to be too happy about
the basic necessities that to be exempted from GST.
“For example rice is exempted from GST. But products
made from rice are not exempted at each level of the
chain,” he said.
Tuan Ibrahim yesterday in a Facebook posting yesterday
reminded his fans that pastries made from items made by
basic necessities exempted from GST such as sugar, salt,
rice and flour would not be exempted from GST.
Meanwhile, Dzulkefly also cited a report by Ministry of
Finance stating that country’s debts has reached RM543.3
billion, or 54.8 percent of gross domestic product
“That means we only have a 0.2 percent buffer before
violating the limit of 55 percent of GDP,” added the
former Kuala Selangor MP.