Opposition MPs hammered the government further on GST, stressing that it will only increase inflation in the long run while corruption still perpetuates
KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysians are earning too little right now to be paying goods and services tax (GST), said the Pakatan Rakyat lawmakers during the launch of their alternative budget for 2014.
Speaking at the Parliament’s conference room today, PAS’ MP Khalid Samad said that the government needs to improve governance and eradicate corruption before even considering implementing a new tax system.
“Until we correct the whole country’s economy, GST will only hit the common man,” he said.
Also present with him were DAP’s MP Anthony Loke, PKR’s MPs Nurul Izzah Anwar and Wong Chen.
Opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim was absent at the launch, despite announcing days earlier that he would detail the alternative budget today.
Elaborating further on that point, Wong Chen said that while the opposition understood the need to have a fair consumption tax, the timing is not right as only 1.8 million workers in the country pay taxes currently.
“By implementing GST, it’s going to hit all 28 million Malaysians.
“Besides, most people don’t believe our tax money is being managed well. We need substantial tradeoff between income tax and GST,” said the Kelana Jaya MP.
DAP MP Anthony Loke said that GST would only serve to increase inflationary pressure on the masses despite the government’s assurances.
“Poor enforcement by the authorities will allow errant traders to hike up prices, affecting the poor,” he said.
On the other hand, Nurul Izzah Anwar said the implementation of GST would be the government’s “lazy way” of fixing the nation’s fiscal problems.
“It’s just a short cut solution and BN will be addicted to increase the tax from time to time to cover the losses due to corruption,” said the Lembah Pantai MP.