(The Sun Daily) – Populist policies such as removing taxes and offering free services to the rakyat would only plunge the country into jeopardy, Communications and Multimedia Minister Datuk Seri Salleh Said Keruak said.
In his latest blog posting, believed to be directed at the opposition’s alternative budget, Salleh said such moves were not only unrealistic but not sustainable as well.
“We need a balance between inflow and outflow and not cut inflow and increase outflow,” he said.
“Just to gain support and become popular while jeopardising the future of the country is very irresponsible,” he said in his official blog page sskeruak.blogspot.my.
Pakatan Harapan in its alternative budget unveiled last week had proposed, among others, to abolish tolls and Goods and Services Tax collections – a move branded as “populist” by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Abdul Razak.
Najib last Friday announced a RM280.25 billion 2018 Budget, laying out government plans to tackle rising costs and to continue fiscal consolidation efforts.
Salleh said the federal budget had aimed to help those in need while at the same time balance the accounts to allow the country to earn enough for development.
“The Prime Minister knows that budgets must take into consideration many factors.
“Plans must take into account both short-term and long-term needs. And that is what Budget 2018 is all about,” he said.
Salleh said the federal budget would also help the middle income group in tackling the rising cost of living, with policies that allowed for more money in the people’s pocket.
“Tax rate for middle-income people with taxable income of between RM20,000 and RM70,000 would be lowered by 2%.
“This would generate an additional disposable income of RM1.5 billion and this extra money would be contributed back to the economy via consumption,” he added.