The Budget 2018 has successfully addressed over 80 percent of the people’s concerns, including the rising cost of living, the cost of doing business, education funds and affordable housing, said the Finance Ministry.
Head of the budget team Mohd Hassan Ahmad said the concerns were highlighted in the government’s social media channel and the Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak’s twitter account.
“The government has heard the grievances and is trying to address the issues faced by the people.
“The allocations under Budget 2018 is the largest ever granted compared with the budgets of previous years,” Hassan told reporters after a special briefing on the budget.
Themed, "Prosper with Inclusive Economy, Balancing Between Worldly and Hereafter, For the Wellbeing of the Rakyat, Towards The TN50 Aspiration”, the budget saw a total allocation of RM280.25 billion, an increase of RM19.45 billion from the RM260.80 billion allocated under Budget 2017.
He said the higher allocations were made possible because of increased collection from corporate income tax, personal tax and the goods and services tax (GST).
“Our revenue has also improved, thanks to higher crude oil prices, which is currently trading above US$60 per barrel.
“However, the budget allocation was done when crude oil was fetching US$50 per barrel and if this positive momentum continues, the government will earn more revenue and this will likely be channeled to the people in terms of infrastructure,” he said.
Hassan said the people expected the government to increase the 1Malaysia People’s Aid (BR1M) payout while civil servants anticipated a three-month bonus.
“We are not doing that. What we have given was based on our capacity and it was more important to ensure that the country remains strong and competitive towards achieving the target of becoming a high-income nation by 2020,” he said.