Date of publication: Apr 6, 2014
Section heading: Main Section
Page number: 003
IPOH: Recipients of 1Malaysia People's Aid (BR1M) next year will receive an extra RM300 as a one-off payment on top of the regular BR1M payment that will be announced in the tabling of 2015 Budget in October.
Deputy Finance Minister Datuk Ahmad Maslan said the additional payment was meant to absorb the expected 1.8 per cent rise in the Consumer Price Index (CPI) following the planned implementation of the Goods and Services Tax (GST) in April next year.
He, however, said the rise in CPI was expected to stabilise within five to six months after the GST was implemented.
"The temporary increase in the CPI is something normal for countries which start to implement the GST.
"Data which were studied from countries that have adopted the GST showed a temporary rise in the CPI.
"It is something normal," he told reporters after opening Rahim & Co International Property Consultants' new office here yesterday.
He said the GST would not be imposed on basic needs, such as healthcare, public transportation, education and residential properties. The implementation of the GST will not burden the lower income groups."
He said the public could access the www.gst.customs.gov.my website to gain a better understanding of and receive further information about the GST.
On another matter, Ahmad said Malaysia's household debt was not worrisome.
He said only six per cent of the total household debt involved credit card debt.
The bulk of the debt was related to housing and vehicle loans and the purchase of stocks and bonds.
"Only 1.3 per cent of total household debt is non-performing loans," said Ahmad.
According to KFH Research Ltd, an independent Islamic research entity owned by Kuwait Finance House, Malaysia's household debt rose to a new high of 86.8 per cent of gross domestic product (GDP) last year, an increase from 80.5 per cent in 2012, which put Malaysia's household debt the highest in Asia.