Friday, May 31, 2013
Opposition Sends Mixed Signals as Government Confirms GST Won’t Be Rushed
Ahmad Husni explained that the Government was still working with politicians from all sides of the spectrum, as well as the private sector and the public in order to look at variables such as the rate that could be imposed and what impact it might have.
"We are relooking our earlier study by taking a holistic view of it. We do not want to just see the GST from the point of government revenue but also the prosperity of the people," he said.
"We have to again look the rate terms of its benefit to the government, the private sector and the general public."
His reassurance comes despite the continued scaremongering from the Opposition over the scheme. Yet confusingly the Opposition continue to criticise Malaysia's manageable debt levels, calling for more revenue. This surely begs the question of just how Pakatan might solve the deficit?
"It seems that the implementation of GST is top on Najib's list after the elections," DAP political education director Liew Chin Tong claimed just last week.
"Indeed, I have been alerted that the appointment of Umno propagandist Datuk Ahmad Maslan as deputy finance minister is for him to co-ordinate propaganda for the implementation of GST."
But comments such as these from the Kluang MP and his Pakatan colleagues seem to be thankfully few and far between. Rather more qualified regional economists have already described the GST as crucial to boosting government revenue and thereby reducing debt even further.
"We expect the prime minister to offer more clarity on the implementation of goods and services tax this year to be implemented next year, and this is one of the crucial measures needed," said Yeah Kim Leng, an economist with RAM Holdings Bhd.
Earlier in May Datuk Ahmad Maslan told a forum that the additional revenue could be between RM20 billion and RM27 billion, depending on what rate it was eventually implemented at.