BUDGET 2019 | Although the revenue for the B40 winner in the budget for 2019, the government does not ignore the M40 income group, says Ramon Navaratnam, President of the American Strategy and the Center for Public Policy of the Lead Institute.
"Do not worry, I think Pakatan Harapan's government went as far as possible and focused first on the B40, which shows its priority. A middle income group can wait a little longer for an additional concession.
"Rome is not built in a single day. You can not make radical changes in the budget in one year when the constraints are so strong, revenue is reduced, expenditures and debts are up, and we have to look at the budget deficit so it will take some time," he said for bernama.
He commented on concerns about expanding income inequality in the country presented by the Malay Advisory Council (MPM).
In a statement yesterday, MPM said the 2019 budget did not deal with large differences in revenue between Bumiputera and non-Bumiputera, between urban and rural groups, and between revenue groups B40, M40, T20.
Given the comments of MPM Economic Consultant Akhbar Ali, the dismissal of state property in nonproportional companies was questionable, Ramon described them unfairly because sales could generate income for the benefit of the poor.
In Budget 2019, Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng proposed four steps to exploit state property, including a reduction in stake in non-strategic companies, and the implementation of a public-private partnership model for public projects in connection with the exchange of land through an open tender.
Ramon said through the 2019 budget, wealthy can do much more to help B40 and M40 group income, such as raising property taxes, death tax, and inheritance tax.
"We want a better distribution of income, a balanced growth and a just society … and that's the way forward … then we will have greater stability and national unity," he said.
The government has proposed allocating 314.5 billion dinars for the 2019 budget, compared with 2018 in the amount of RM290.4 billion.
Of this figure, for operating expenses is 259.8 billion, and for development expenditures is 54.7 billion kunas.