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Thursday, November 14, 2013

Tee Yong: Government needs to educate people on GST

Published: Saturday November 9, 2013 MYT 12:00:00 AM 
Updated: Saturday November 9, 2013 MYT 8:12:07 AM

PETALING JAYA: The Government must educate the public on the goods and services tax (GST) and how it will affect consumers based on their income level, said MCA Young Professionals Bureau chief Datuk Chua Tee Yong.

He said this was important to avoid confusion about the GST, especially after the Opposition claimed it was a regressive plan.

Chua stressed that the underlying principle of the GST was beneficial to the country in the long run.

“The rakyat might not be able to digest the GST immediately but it is important that they have a complete understanding of the GST and not the skewed picture painted by the Opposition,” he said.

He said it was important to have a consumer guide, hotline and websites to answer queries on the tax, pointing out that no one knew the results of the GST studies done by the Government.

Chua said that the example given by the Opposition to show the GST was regressive was “illogical” because it said people’s spending habits were still the same regardless of income.

“A person with an income of RM1,000 will have a different spending habit compared to a person with RM10,000 income,” he said.

He noted that 75% of the GST collected in Singapore, which has implemented the tax system for nearly 20 years, came from high-income households and expatriates.

Chua said it was therefore unfair to label the GST regressive as the higher-income groups would pay more compared to middle and lower-income groups.

“I urge the Government to have more forums to educate the public on the implication of the GST and its effect on the public to avoid further confusion and complications created by unnecessary parties,” he said.

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