Dr M: Difficult to lower tax and increase subsidy simultaneously

Cutting excessive taxes would directly impact the subsidy amount which could be disbursed to the needy, says PM

By AFIQ AZIZ & MARK RAO / Pic By MUHD AMIN NAHARUL

IT IS difficult to lower taxes for the people and at the same time increase subsidies simultaneously, Prime Minister (PM) Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad (picture) said.

Such a mechanism is contradictory, he added, as both tools should be balanced against each other.

The PM was responding to the public’s sentiment and expectation towards the upcoming Budget 2020, which will be tabled to the Parliament today.

“We will try to lower taxes, but the government needs money if we are to give subsidies,” he told a press conference after launching the 10th International GreenTech and Eco Products Exhibition and Conference (IGEM) 2019 in Kuala Lumpur yesterday.

Dr Mahathir added that cutting excessive taxes would be detrimental to the government coffers.

This, he said, would directly impact the subsidy amount which could be disbursed to the needy.

Dr Mahathir also called for the channelling of government subsidy programmes to a more targeted group in the future.

“Subsidies will not be given to just anybody. It must be given to a deserving group of people.

“Even among the B40 (bottom 40% income group), there are people who do not need any subsidy. We are going into details on who should receive subsidies from the government,” Dr Mahathir said.

“With regard to taxes, we try to impose them more to the rich than the poor, which is the principle behind the taxes,” he added.