Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Two million Malaysian families surviving on less than RM3,000 a month, Parliament told

The country's average household income may have risen by some 10% in the last five years but there are still two million families living on less than RM3,000 a month, Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Seri Abdul Wahid Omar told Parliament Tuesday.

"Although the Government believes we are on track, it is still is not comfortable," he said in reply to a question raised by Datuk Irmohizam Ibrahim (BN-Kuala Selangor).

He said that average household income had seen a positive rise from 2009 to 2014, but 28.7% of families still survived on less than RM3,000 a month.

He added that the household income for some 40% in the lowest income level had recorded a rise, from an average of RM1,440 in 2009 to RM1,847 in 2012 and RM2,313 in 2014.

The Government would continue to assist those in the lower-income group and ease their burden via programmes such as BR1M, Kedai 1Malaysia and affordable housing, he said.

"One crucial area is ensuring continued economic growth, which will result in improved job opportunities for the rakyat to better their income levels," he said.

Earlier, Abdul Wahid told lawmakers the Statistics Department had carried out surveys in 2009, 2012 and 2014 on household income levels, based on United Nations criteria.

He noted that median household income rose an average of 8% annually for the past five years which was above the annual inflation rate of 2.3% for the same period.

He said that average monthly household income in 2009 was RM4,025,  RM5,000 in 2012 and RM5,919 for 2014.

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