Upcoming budget will be people-friendly

Upcoming budget will be people-friendly

PETALING JAYA, October 6 — The Budget 2016 will be people-friendly and bigger than the previous one in the quest to help low and middle-income groups cope with inflation and rising cost of living, Deputy Finance Minister Datuk Chua Tee Yong said.

However, he declined to elaborate on measures that might be included in the budget that would be tabled by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak on Oct 23.

Chua was speaking to reporters following the signing of a Memorandum of Agreement (MoA) between the Malaysian Financial Planning Council (MFPC) and Segi University here, Tuesday.

Asked if the budget would include incentives to promote affordable housing, he said this would be a continuous measure as the plan to build more affordable homes was part of the Barisan National’s manifesto.

“The ministry will continue to look into how to assist or promote affordable housing as we realise there is a huge demand for it.

“However, everything would have to be balanced according to our fiscal (health),” he said.

Chua said the government set this year’s fiscal deficit target at 3.2 per cent and hoped to reduce the rate to 0.6 per cent by 2020.

On the concluded Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA) negotiations, Chua echoed International Trade and Industry Minister Mustapa Mohamed’s remarks that the agreement would be presented to Parliament for debate once the complete and official text of the agreement is ready and in public domain to protect national interest.

On UMW Toyota’s move to increase the prices of Toyota and Lexus between four and 16 per cent from January next year due to the falling ringgit, Chua described it as a short-term impact, while admitting that the exchange rate impact on some imported goods could not be denied.

He said the exchange rate would only normalise, while other uncertainties stabilised after the US Federal Reserve announced its interest rate decision.

“When the exchange rate is weaken, some imported items will become more costly, that cannot be denied,” he said, adding that the prices of some cars dropped at the outset of the Goods and Services Tax (GST) implementation in April.

Meanwhile, MFPC president Adnan Md Zain said with the signing of the MoA, MFPC and Segi University would offer a Master degree programme in financial planning.