Two questions were put forward to them-:
A: How satisfied are you with Budget 2016?
B: In what ways can the Budget 2016 be improved?
CEO of Urbanify Sdn Bhd
A) The poverty statistics in Malaysia are skewed to the point that they are no actual sources other than that from the Ministry of Finance. There isn’t much evidence that absolute poverty has been reduced to a mere 0.6%, yet while addressing hardcore poverty, those with barely enough are side-lined from the statistics to make the data look good. We still have Malaysians living in squatters or small homes that fit more than five families and by revealing skewed data, the efforts to reduce all forms of poverty to zero will be only be just a goal and not a reality.
B) The Budget 2016 announcement also did not give enough incentives to small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) and start-up companies as well as enterprises that are struggling hard to survive. The productivity of SMEs is affected with the depreciation of the Ringgit and this in turn will adversely affect the economy.
A) The increased tax of 28% for the higher income category is nice for us who are in the middle and lower income class. The budget was notable for what it did not include – as there was very little for the middle class, who are more affected by the GST. There were no allocations to increase the manpower for Ministry of Domestic Trade, Cooperatives and Consumerism (KPDNKK), who are supposed to enforce and expose more research on the application of GST. While the Indonesians are thinking about slashing corporate tax to attract more foreign investors, however this time around, Malaysia did not announce such incentives.
B) There should also be more allocation to the health and medical sector for the purpose of treatment and disease research. Dengue killed 70% more people this year compared to last year and with such statistics, the government should move in to tackle the issue rather than to continue asking citizens to keep their compounds clean to rid their premises of dengue mosquitoes.
Photographer at iCart Malaysia Sdn Bhd
A) It appears that Budget 2016 intended way to solve all the problems in the country is through injection and appropriation of more funds, even though there could be a better way to settle such issues such as revamping or restructuring several policies and systems via the Budget. It is not necessary to constantly pump in more money to almost everything as seeing our own national coffers dwindling when our revenues were lesser as compared to last year.
B) There should be more allocation of funds into improving public transportation and road improvements especially within the Klang Valley. More cars are brought into the roads each year and the number of vehicles moving at one time grows as well, especially during peak hours. Otherwise, tax subsidies can also be implemented to promote the sales of more energy efficient and environmental friendly hybrid or electric cars.
Professional make-up artist
A) When the GST was implemented and citizens had to pay extra for their purchases and other expenses, Budget 2016 should have considered a reduction in income tax. The income tax rate of more than 10% for middle income earners before other deductions, coupled with 6% GST is strenuous for working individuals, especially fresh graduates who are trying to start their own life away from their parent’s financial support. Given the rising costs of living, it is harder for middle income earners to save enough and that makes it harder for them to own a property.
B) There should be a subsidy, price discount or relief of some sort for all first home buyers based on their salary or house desired, perhaps along with free legal services. This should be more viable options for young working adults who, instead of renting a place and partially paying for the landlord’s own mortgage, can own a property of their own.
Gen-Ys in Malaysia can be considered the smartest cohort of young people history has ever seen, by virtue of socio-economic privileges bequeathed to them by previous generations. The recent budget should include policies that would improve the lives of everyone and not a segmented few. Long-term policies must be established, such as the abolishment of BR1M (Bantuan Ringgit 1Malaysia) and inject the allocated funds into subsidies for commodities that are more important for the rakyat.