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Saturday, September 29, 2012

DPM: It’s not an election budget


The deputy premier says that Budget 2013 is focused on Malaysians' everyday needs.
KUALA LUMPUR: Deputy Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin has denied that the Budget 2013 is an election-geared one.
Despite a large number of incentives, he said the budget, which was presented by Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak in Parliament today, was more about Malaysians than it was about elections.
Speaking on the second Bantuan Rakyat 1Malaysia (BR1M) handouts, he said: “We don’t consider what the opposition says, because the budget is decided by the government, especially the PM.”
“The BR1M is being given on the basis of our response to reduce the cost of living. That is a challenge being faced by a large number of people, especially those who earn less than RM3,000,” he added.
Muhyiddin said the money, once disbursed to Malaysians, would then re-enter the economy through their spending.
Trade, he said, would increase and as a result, the country’s deficit would go down.
A BR1M cash assistance worth RM250 was announced by the prime minister today. It would be meant for households with a monthly income of less than RM3,000.
Its criteria was also extended to single, unmarried people aged 21 and above, earning less than RM2,000 a month. Previously, the government handed out RM500 BR1M payments.
Other goodies also appeared in the budget, including a one-off RM200 smartphone rebate for youths, a schooling assistance aid of RM100 for all primary and secondary school students and RM250 book vouchers for tertiary students.
On top of that, the individual income tax rate was announced to be reduced by 1-percentage point for each grouped annual income tax exceeding RM2,500 to RM50,000. Cooperative income tax rates would also be reduced between 1 and 7-percentage points.
Civil servants also received a one-and-a-half-month bonus.
Muhyiddin also commended the budget as a whole, adding that no group – whether they were fishermen or farmers was left out.
He was also confident that the budget’s measures would pave the way to reducing Malaysia’s fiscal deficit to 3%; a 2015 target.
Muhyiddin, who is also education minister, thanked the prime minister for the RM38.7 billion allocation – 21% of the Budget 2013′s planned expenditure – as well as the various focuses on his portfolio.

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