The Budget 2017, which will be tabled by Prime Minister Najib Razak on Oct 21 will not involve a hike in the Goods and Services Tax (GST), said Deputy Finance Minister Othman Aziz.
He said the current six per cent tax was still sufficient to manage the national economy and help the working class.
“We will not burden the people further (by increasing the GST). We can still manage the economy even though we face challenges,” he said after launching the Seminar on Integrity, Quality, Innovation and Creativity (Public and Private Sector) here.
He was commenting on claims by certain parties that Najib, who is also Finance Minister, would announce an increase in the GST during the tabling of the Budget 2017.
Othman said the GST which was introduced on April 1 last year did not involve all essential items.
“Our government is responsible…very concerned about the people. What we get from the GST, we give back to the people, but some people try to exploit that,” he said.
Othman said preparations for the tabling of the Budget 2017, which are in the final stages, had taken into account the opinions of the people from all levels of society.
He said as with the previous budgets, Najib was open in ensuring that next year’s budget would reflect the voice and needs of all the people.
“There could be certain parties claiming that the government would increase the GST, but our government is responsible,” he said.