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Friday, October 25, 2013

Big 'no' to introduction of GST in Budget 2014

Published: Thursday October 24, 2013 MYT 12:00:00 AM 
Updated: Thursday October 24, 2013 MYT 2:51:04 PM

KUCHING: The goods and services tax (GST) should not be introduced in Budget 2014 in view of the escalating costs of living in the country, PKR Women’s wing said.

Its vice-chief Voon Shiak Ni said since GST was generally charged on the consumption of goods and services at every stage of the supply chain, the burden would ultimately be borne by the end consumer.

“So when GST is introduced, it is directly levying another expense on the people and adding to their daily costs of living. The chain reaction will cause prices of all goods to soar.

“The rise in petrol prices and the GST will drive more people into hardship,” she told a press conference here yesterday.

Voon questioned whether the people would be able to cope with rising costs of living if the GST were to be introduced.

She said there were more than one million hardcore poor in the country while more than 3.7 million people were eligible for the 1Malaysia People’s Aid (BR1M).

“There is no doubt that the introduction of GST will further increase the poverty index in the country. We think the Government needs to be more concerned with the people’s welfare and their livelihood than to introduce new taxes.

“The Government should not resort to GST to solve the national debt problem but to see to measures of reducing corruption and addressing the millions in wastage as evident in the Auditor-General’s Report,” she said.

Voon acknowledged that GST had been implemented in many countries and was a way of taxing the people for the national coffers.

However, she said the people must be given the opportunity to work efficiently and productively, thereby making it reasonable to tax them accordingly in order for the government of the day to spend on development, infrastructure, public facilities and basic amenities like medical services, water and electricity.

“The country’s natural resources must be efficiently and accountably exploited as well. It is unfair to tax the people if resources are blatantly exploited by some only and there are no open tenders for projects, rendering the wealth of the country not fairly distributed.

“The resources of the country should be used for the interest and welfare of every rakyat.

“Only then can our country progress well and be able to generate human resources capable of competing with our neighbours,” she said.

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