PARLIAMENT | The Sales and Service Tax (SST) has lowered the prices of 291 items since it was re-introduced in September.
Deputy Finance Minister Amiruddin Hamzah said a study by the Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Ministry (KPDNHEP) showed that the prices 70 per cent of the 417 items comprising six categories had gone down.
"A study was carried out by KPDNHEP on the implementation of SST on price points of 417 items consisting of six categories, namely fresh goods (136), dry goods (25), packaged goods, cans, packs and bottles (59), beverages (25) food and baby items (49) and hygiene items (23).
"From a price change analysis done by comparing average prices between May 2018 and Sept 2018, 70 percent, or 291 items recorded a decrease (in prices), 27 percent or 115 items had an increase and three percent or 11 items remain unchanged," he said when winding up the debate on the Finance Bill 2018 at the Dewan Negara today.
However, he said the decline in prices was not being highlighted, while the price increase in 27 per cent of the items has created a perception that the prices of all goods have increased.
Meanwhile, Amiruddin said the government had collected RM4.5 billion in SST from Sept 1 to Dec 17 this year.
"We aim to collect RM22 billion SST in 2019, namely RM13.8 billion in sales tax and RM8.2 billion in service tax," he said.
Meanwhile, he said the government is expected to lose RM26.9 million in revenue a year following the move to increase the tax relief amount from RM6,000 to RM8,000 on net savings in the National Education Savings Scheme (SSPN).
However, he said the revenue loss for assessment years 2019 and 2020 was worthwhile as it would encourage more Malaysians to save their money under the scheme.
"In the assessment for the year 2017, the total number of taxpayers who claimed tax relief on net savings in SSPN was 242,027, with a total claim amount of RM630.3 million.
"That was when the tax relief amount was RM6,000, by raising the amount up to RM8,000 we expect more will save their money in SSPN," he said.
The Bill which aims to amend the Income Tax Act 1967, the Promotion of Investments Act 1986, the Stamp Act 1949, the Real Property Gains Tax Act 1976, the Labuan Business Activity Tax Act 1990, and introduce the Service Tax Act 2018 and the Sales Tax Act 2018 was later approved by the Senate.
The Bill aims to improve tax legislation, enforcement and strengthen existing tax services that require amendments to their respective Acts.
It was passed by the Dewan Rakyat on Dec 10.
Meanwhile, the Senate also passed six other Bills, namely the Income Tax (Amendment) Bill 2018, the Labuan Business Activity Tax (Amendment) Bill 2018, the Customs (Amendment) (No 2) Bill 2018, Excise Duty (Amendment) Bill 2018, Sales Tax (Amendment) Bill 2018 and Service Tax Bill (Amendment) 2018.