KUALA LUMPUR: PKR’s Wong Chen today described the 2018 Budget as a “bizarre budget”.

He said RM12 billion had been allocated for the development budget for the Prime Minister’s Department (PMD) next year.

“The health ministry only got RM1.8 billion for development purposes under the budget, and education only got RM1.4 billion.

“What is the prime minister spending RM12 billion on?

“The total allocated for the prime minister’s department, including for operating and development expenses, is RM18 billion.”

Last year, RM15.94 billion had been allocated to this department.

Prime Minister Najib Razak delivered his 2018 Budget at the Dewan Rakyat this afternoon.

Wong Chen, who is the PKR Kelana Jaya MP, said the budget was also bizarre as the income tax rate has been reduced and more items have been exempted from paying the 6% goods and services tax (GST).

“Yet, he is expecting higher tax revenue in 2018.

“They are projecting GST collection to hit RM44 billion (in 2018). That is an additional RM2.3 billion compared with 2017.

“What this effectively means is that every Malaysian household will have to pay more in GST next year,” he said.

The MP said if the GST revenue hits an all-time high of RM44 billion, households may have to fork out another RM330 each in GST next year.

Under his 2018 Budget, Najib has proposed that all services provided by local authorities be exempted from GST from April 1, 2018 or Oct 1, 2018 onwards, depending on the local authority’s own discretion.

Najib also proposed to have reading material treated as a zero-rated GST item from Jan 1.

Wong Chen said the budget was RM21 billion more than last year at RM282 billion.

“And yet Najib has announced he will magically reduce the deficit from 3% in 2017 to 2.8% for 2018.

“How is he going to do this?”

He said the answer to that question was simple — that was to tax more.

It looks like the government was going to collect an additional RM20 billion in taxes from the people and companies to pay for the 2018 budget, he added. -FMT NEWS-

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