Wednesday, October 25, 2017

PH proposes East Malaysian boost, abolishing GST in Alternative Budget

Pakatan Harapan reveals its Alternative Budget today. – Photo from Facebook/@pakatanharapan.my

KUCHING: Abolishing the Goods and Services Tax (GST) and giving special focus to Sabah and Sarawak’s development were among the key focus put forward by Pakatan Harapan in its Alternate Budget 2018 released today.

The alternative budget was unveiled in Parliament ahead of Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak tabling the government’s Budget for 2018 in Parliament on Friday.

In the report for Malaysia with the theme “Spend Wisely, Cut Taxes and Choose Hope”, the party called for a new deal for Sabah and Sarawak, citing a lack of balanced development for the two states.

“THe long-running economic joke is that the Pan Borneo Highway will be promised by UMNO-BN at every single election campaign,” Pakatan Harapan said in the 78-page Alternate Budget.

“What is surprising is that this so-called political fixed deposit of the UMNO-BN continues to believe this narrative while they sit idly by, watching the massive developments of highways in Peninsular Malaysia.

“Pakatan Harapan makes a simple promise: we will complete and deliver a dual-carriageway Pan Borneo Highway that was started by UMNO-BN in 1965.”

The party said that for too long, the state governments have been denied their appropriate budgets as the pace of development has been dictated from Putrajaya.

“Pakatan Harapan will honour the spirit of the Malaysia Agreement 1963 of equal partnership,” it said. “To that effect, we will propose a new deal formula for returning a portion of internally-generated revenue to Sabah and Sarawak.”

On the point of oil royalties, it agreed in principal to increase the royalty rates for oil-producing states Kelantan, Terengganu, Sabah and Sarawak, noting that these four states have the highest incidences of poverty.

“Furthermore, we hear the demands of Sabah and Sarawak governments to create their own equivalent oil and gas operations,” it highlighted.

“In the event Pakatan Harapan agrees to such an arrangement, we will have to factor in new computations on the royalty rate.”

Meanwhile, the party also said it would abolish the GST.

“On the issue of GST, we differ starkly from UMNO-BN,” it said. “Pakatan Harapan is committed to eliminating GST via zero-rating, but we will keep its reporting system.

“We aim to revert to pre-GST numbers on the matter of consumption tax. In effect, this means that we will see a revenue shortfall of RM25.50 billion.

“Pakatan Harapan sees this policy as an absolute necessity in times of economic stagnation and consumer hardship.”

With this shortage, the coalition hoped to collect an additional RM2.81 billion in corporate income tax, RM1.46 billion in excise duties on goods (except motor vehicles) and RM1.82 billion in real property gains tax.

It also expected a 20 per cent increase in car sales following the abolishment of GST, which would contribute to RM1.93 billion in revenue through the collection of import tax, excise and motor vehicle license.

“For 2018, we are determined to eliminate RM20 billion from wastage and corruption by slashing the Prime Minister’s Department budget.”

The party also outlines other suggestions in the report, such as calling for an independent Bank Negara, measures to reduce household debt, revamping Malaysia’s revenue policies and focus on cryptocurrencies and financial technology.

~ Borneo Post

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