KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 27 — DAP’s Tony Pua challenged the government’s continued defence of the goods and services tax (GST) today, saying it has not led to lower personal tax rates despite claims it would spread the tax burden more equitably.
The DAP MP noted that collections from personal income tax was RM30.1 billion this year or an increase of 9.2 per cent from the previous year, and projected to increase to RM32 billion next year.
Pua also noted that the federal operating expenditure will increase to RM234.3 billion in 2018, and suggested that the government was not prudent in spending.
“The 2018 Budget only served to prove the widespread fears that as long as there are no such serious reforms in place, ordinary Malaysians will be forced to bear increasing higher tax contributions — whether it is via the GST, individual or corporate income taxes,” he said.
Putrajaya today proposed added reliefs to the GST and expanded the list of zero-rated items, but retained the consumption tax at its present rate.
Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak yesterday said the tax was needed to spread the burden of taxation, noting that just 2.2 million Malaysians pay any form of income tax.
Pakatan Harapan is proposing to remove the GST, but the ruling Barisan Nasional has said this would introduce a RM20 billion shortfall in federal revenue.