The alternative budget presented by the Opposition is a ruse to confuse the people as it is financially not feasible, a senior Ministry of Finance Official said today.
Citing the proposal to raise the minimum wage to RM1,500, the official asked as to who would foot the bill for the extra RM500 or from where the money would come from.
There was no way the government could afford this as it was one-third of the proposed new minimum wage, he told a media briefing today.
As it is, the government is seeking new sources of income, despite stiff challenges in the external environment, particularly the decline in crude oil prices.
As such, there should be appreciation for the previously-criticised but now accepted Goods and Services Tax (GST), without which some RM30 million would be wiped off from government coffers.
As for the Opposition’s proposal to cut allocations especially to the Prime Minister’s Department, he said the Opposition should firstly get their facts right.
There is a difference between the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) and the Prime Minister’s Department, as the PMO is a subset of the department, which is a larger entity housing numerous important units and agencies.
Cutting RM10 billion in allocations to the Prime Minister’s Department means also cutting away funds for the Public Services Department, Public Private Partnership Unit (UKAS), Bumiputera Agenda Steering Unit (Teraju) and many others, he said.
He also said certain quarters were spreading the false notion that the government was bankrupt, when in actual fact, it was resorting to prudent financial management and efficient resource allocation.
He said “Malaysia cannot be deemed a failed state as its debt is only 55 per cent of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP).”
“There would be many, many countries bankrupt as their debt levels are very much higher,” he added.
Source : Bernama Online