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Thursday, October 24, 2013

Minister: Pray that there will not be price hike after GST

First Published: 5:26pm, Oct 23, 2013
Last Updated: 5:26pm, Oct 23, 2013

KUALA LUMPUR (Oct 23): The government could not guarantee that there will not be further price hikes, even after implementing the Goods and Services Tax (GST).

Domestic Trade Cooperatives and Consumerism Minister Datuk Hasan Malek said the public should not speculate on the matter but rather, pray for the best.

"Let us all pray for the best. There are no guarantees in this world, so for the time-being, we can only pray for the best," he said to reporters at the Parliament lobby today.

He said the public should just wait for the 2014 Budget announcement to be made by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak this Friday.

There has been much speculation over whether the implementation of the GST will be included in next year’s budget allocation.

He was responding to Pakatan Rakyat’s call that this was not the time to implement the GST as it will be a further burden to the public.

The opposition MPs have once again said the GST should be put on hold until at least a bulk of the public pays their income tax due.

"Its not a good time and it is a regressive tax. It is a shortcut to fix the government's problem, which is fundamentally from wastage and corruption," Kelana Jaya MP Wong Chen said at another press conference.

He also said there is further uncertainty on whether the Sales and Service Tax (SST) will be abolished, if the GST will genuinely be its replacement and whether there would not be double taxation.

"There is also uncertainty if the corporate and personal income tax will be simultaneously reduced," he added.

PJ Utara MP Tony Pua estimated that the right time to implement GST will be when about 85% of the public pay their income tax.

He also said under Pakatan's alternative budget there is no additional tax suggested except for the Real Property Gains Tax (RPGT).

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