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Wednesday, November 6, 2013

For the rich, GST's a pinprick but the poor...

9:30AM Nov 6, 2013 

YOURSAY 'What is 6 percent GST to the rich? But to those living on the edge, it is a 6cm long hypodermic needle.'

Onyourtoes: Minister in the Prime Minister's Department Idris Jala, how many cups of Milo or coffee can a rich man consume a day - 20 cups? Why don't you impose GST on quality coffee only?

How many shirts, pants, underwear and panties can a rich man or woman wear? Do you impose GST only on Polo shirts and not on Ah Beng shirts?

Please don't talk crap, Idris. As pointed out by many others, please talk percentage, don't talk in absolute terms. The very rich probably would not consume five percent of their income, while some among the poor would probably consume 90 percent or even more of their income.

By the way, why the need to rebalance GST with reduced corporate and individual income tax? With increase income disparity, the marginal rates of direct taxes should be increased, not reduced.

GST affects everybody, but reduction in marginal tax rates benefit only the rich. Why can't those earning more than a RM1million a year be imposed a higher marginal tax rates of 35 percent and those earning more than RM5 million be imposed 45 percent?

I am sure everybody agrees the CEO of Syabas should be paying 50 percent tax.

Clearwater: The rich may consume more and thereby pay more GST but to say they will be most affected is utter nonsense. Idris should know better than to spout fallacies even if compelled to as a government minister.

What is 6 percent GST to the rich? It's just a pinprick. But to those living on the edge, it is a 6cm long hypodermic needle.

CiViC: Is Idris asking the poor to not consume as much? So the rich can eat as much as they can, and the poor are supposed to eat less? I'm speechless.

Ar-ma-ged-don: GST is only good for the government. With or without GST, the rich will remain rich or even get richer.

The middle-income group will go down a step lower to lower middle-income group and in years to come, will join the lower-income group. The lower-income group and the poor will remain poor as ever.

Rightan: It is only half a truth that the rich will pay more in absolute terms, but percentage-wise, it is the middle class who will pay the most in terms of their income. So the middle class will soon fall into working class, and working class, into the struggling class.

Joker: Idris, be truthful and answer this, "Will the poor benefit from GST or be worse off?" Before there was GST, the middle class and the rich paid all of the taxes, the poor paid no income tax.

Now with GST, the poor will pay taxes every time they buy milk powder, etc. Remember you are ultimately answerable to God, whose name your government has recently made a mockery of.

Awakened: Politicians like to play with numbers. I think the rich is only less than 10% of population who spend more than 150,000 per year for the whole family. But this may represent less than 50% of their total income.

The middle income could spend more than 80,000 per year. This may represent 80-90% of their income. The poor will spend more than 30,000 per year but this represent 100% or more of their income.

There is no doubt that the rich is paying more in absolute terms when GST is implemented but this new tax does not affect them much because it is still a small percentage of their total income.

But the GST will affect the middle and lower income groups more percentage wise even though their pay less in absolute terms.

Foo: Idris, I'm afraid you are not being sincere here. Anyone who feels the impact of GST can't really be rich. You don't have to ask Syed Mohktar Al-Bukhary, Ananda Krishnan or even Vincent Tan, but ask yourself or your cabinet colleagues to confirm this.

ABU, Don't Play Play: Idris, are you sure? Luxurious goods will not increase much whilst the common daily consumed goods will increase by hefty percentages contributing to inflation.

In terms of percentages, the lower income bracket will be heavily impacted while the rich will just take the extra six percent GST in their stride.

After all, the main contributors to the housing bubble are the speculators who obviously fall under the rich bracket.

Changeagent: If the government charges GST for feedmeal, then chicken, ducks, etc, and eggs, will cost more.

If there's GST on fertiliser, vegetables, palm oil, etc, will cost more to produce. All things are connected in a food chain. You cannot escape this. So Idris, please tell the full story.

Not Smart: Idris, you are assuming that the rich will spend more and therefore they will be most affected. What if the rich begin to spend less (prudently), where will the revenue come from?

When this happens, zero-rated and exempted items will slowly and surely be included into the GST. In recent years, petrol and sugar subsidies have been gradually withdrawn, thus causing hardship to all consumers.

On this count, what guarantee is there that the government will not choose to gradually increase the import and other taxes of these items?

This increases revenue, and the burden will be passed on to all consumersm irrespective of their status.

On paper it will appear as if the middle and lower income groups are not affected, due to the exemptions. Buy there is a hidden agenda, to pursue the GST without mercy on the poor.

Not Convinced: Six percent is just the beginning. Expect it to go higher in the coming years. In some countries, GST can be as high as 20 percent!

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