Malaysiakini News

Gov't expects changes in housing prices after SST exemption

Bernama  |  Published:  |  Modified:

The government expects a more positive response from housing industry players following its decision to exempt construction services and certain building materials from the sales and service tax (SST).

Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng expressed hope of seeing at least some changes in housing prices as the government was not collecting SST for construction services.

He noted that car prices had dropped since the implementation of the SST and there should be a positive response from the housing sector as well.

"We hope there are at least some changes in housing prices and we expect to see a positive response in the future," he told reporters in George Town today.

He was responding to a report in an online news portal which quoted the Real Estate and Housing Developer Association (Rehda) Penang immediate past chairperson Jerry Chan that house prices were unlikely to fall even after the government's announcement of exemption of certain building materials from SST.

Lim, who is the MP for Bagan, said the government would also review the current corporate tax rate in order for the country to maintain its competitiveness in this region.

Expressing his personal point of view, Lim said he had no intention of raising the corporate tax rate but the country's current financial situation made it difficult for the government to decide the matter.

"We notice that neighbouring countries have reduced their corporate tax and even the Americans have reduced theirs from 35 percent to the current 21 percent.

"Based on the country's current financial situation, if we are capable of reducing it, then we will reduce the corporate rate; but if not, we will consider other options," he explained.

He said the announcement of the new corporate tax rate would be made during the tabling of Budget 2019 by Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad in Parliament on Nov 2.

Earlier, Lim and Customs director-general T Subromaniam attended an SST briefing with the industry players here.

- Bernama


 

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