KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 14 (Bernama) — The government has no plans to reinstate the Goods and Services Tax (GST) or introduce any other broad-based consumption tax as a means of addressing the national debt issue, said Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim.
Anwar, who is also finance minister, said other measures will be taken in the effort to reduce expenditures and settle the government’s liabilities and debt worth RM1.5 trillion, which is equivalent to 82 per cent of the country’s Gross Domestic Product.
“What we will tighten (in spending) is through subsidy reduction for the wealthy, such as that done in terms of electricity subsidy.
“As I have explained in a previous session (in Parliament), while the previous government planned to raise electricity tariff rates, the present administration has aborted the plan and only decided to impose (subsidy reduction) on the T20 (top 20 per cent income) group as well as multinational and large companies, except those dealing with food security,” he said during the Minister’s Question Time in the Dewan Rakyat today.
Anwar was responding to a supplementary question from Wong Kah Woh (PH-Taiping) on whether the government would introduce new taxes to ease the nation’s debt burden.
The prime minister said the government will also strengthen the administrative positions in view of billions of ringgit being lost due to weak administration and leakages.
“Due to the national debt being higher than the country’s growth, other measures need to be taken including ensuring the revenue base is expanded and reviewing the public expenditure method without burdening the people, especially in the areas of education, health and basic needs.
“We will consider all these matters when tabling Budget 2023 on Feb 24,” he added.
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