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Pakatan's Alternative Budget 'unrealistic', based on 'guesstimate' - Chua

Pakatan's Alternative Budget 'unrealistic', based on 'guesstimate' - Chua
Chua said the claims that GST could be abolished with RM7 billion from consumption tax was not feasible. - Filepic
SUBANG JAYA: Pakatan Harapan's proposed Alternative Budget is unrealistic and based on guesstimate, said Deputy Minister of International Trade and Industry, Datuk Chua Tee Yong.

The budget, among others, included abolishing goods and services tax (GST), introducing petrol subsidy and increasing minimum wage of RM1,500, he said.

He said the claims that GST could be abolished with RM7 billion from consumption tax was not feasible.

"This is an assumption that once GST is abolish and sales and services tax implemented, the prices of goods will definitely drop.
"However, the prices of goods or consumption pattern are not dependent on GST but also on economic outlook and how inflation is impacting the prices of the items," he told reporters after the Malaysian Iron and Steel Industry Trade Forum 2017 here today.

Chua said the Pakatan Harapan seemed not confident with its proposals as there was also a disclaimer on the Budget, which read: ' If we cannot reach a balanced budget, we need to consider other tax bases.'
On petrol subsidy, Chua said, although it appeared to be a good element, the party failed to provide the cost to implement the mechanism.

"We in the government has implemented minimum wage and look forward at a gradual increase to ensure the market, including the small and medium enterprises (SMEs), can absorb it.

"If you increase it from RM1,000 to RM1,500, which is 50 per cent higher, it may cost many SMEs to close down and create more unemployment," he said.

On education, Chua said, the coalition previously wanted to provide free education.

"However, in this recent budget, it said the element needs to be studied which will take them 10 years to complete," he said.

For the borrowers of National Higher Education Fund Corporation which did not have to repay back until their salaries exceeded certain quantum, this meant that the government needed to prepare more fresh funds for new batches of students.

"The cost for that is also not mentioned in the Alternative Budget," he said. - BERNAMA