BARISAN Nasional has unveiled its first “shadow budget” as an opposition party, which proposed, among others, the imposition of Goods and Services Tax (GST) at 3%.
Rembau MP Khairy Jamaluddin, who holds the shadow Finance Minister portfolio, said the alternative Budget 2019, titled “People’s Economic Initiative”, seeks to re-introduce GST, among others, because he said the Sales and Service Tax (SST) had failed to bring down the prices of basic goods and items.
“We need a more efficient and transparent taxation system and we will bring back GST, but at a lower 3%,” he said when tabling the Barisan budget.
Khairy estimated that revenue collected under the lower-rate GST would be about the same as SST, but would solve the problem of the “black economy”.
“The government had admitted that black economy will happen if GST is abolished,” he said.
He also said the Barisan budget would continue with the 1Malaysia People’s Aid (BR1M) payouts, with a special system for the B40 group.
Khairy also said Barisan would introduce a soda tax, at a rate of 25sen for each litre of soda.
“The soda tax is expected to generate RM360mil a year for the purpose of health,” he said.
In an immediate reaction, Economic Affairs Minister Datuk Seri Azmin Ali said the government already had an efficient taxation system under SST.
“We agreed that a more effective taxation system must be introduced. Don’t burden the people, especially those in the B40,” he said.
Federal Territories Minister Khalid Samad said Barisan had the chance to implement beneficial policies over the past 60 years.
“Any good ideas should have been implemented then,” he said.
Deputy Finance Minister Datuk Amiruddin Hamzah said Barisan’s proposal on GST was irrelevant as Malaysians had already made their decision on the matter.