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Thursday, January 9, 2014

Average household can cope with GST, says economist

Bernama| Updated: January 08, 2014

KUALA LUMPUR: Employers, especially in the private sector, have been giving an average increment of between five and six per cent to their employees for the last several years, said RAM Holdings Bhd.

Its Group Chief Economist, Dr Yeah Kim Leng, said the increment that employers would normally give their staff depended on their performances as well as the company’s profitability, but so far the range had been between five and six per cent.

"Following the GST implementation, the average household would be able to cope as long as the income increases above the average consumer price index or the rise in the cost of living,” he told Bernama.

Yeah was commenting on a news report which stated that KPMG Malaysia had made a suggestion for both the public and private sectors to gradually increase the employees' salaries in view of the Goods and Services Tax (GST) that will be implemented in April 2015.

The audit, tax and advisory firm has proposed a six per cent increment in employees' salaries per year as this would help tide over the rising cost of living in Malaysia.

However, Yeah said the bottom 20 per cent of the Malaysian working population earning a minimum monthly wage of RM900 might face some difficulties.

"Perhaps the government, through the employers, could introduce other innovative incentives such as public transport allowances and food coupons to help the employees adjust to the new environment," he said.

Meanwhile, the Congress of Unions in Government-Linked Companies has proposed the establishment of a special task force comprising representatives from the government, private sector and workers union. 

Its President Mohd Shafie Mammal said the task force was aimed at discussing and studying the impact of the GST implementation on the rakyat.

"The discussions must be transparent to ensure its effectiveness," said Mohd Shafie, who is also President of the Union Network International-Malaysian Liaison Council.

Story first published on: January 08, 2014 09:00 (MYT)

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