By Adrian Lim
KUCHING, June 6: Parti Bumi Kenyalang (PBK) has called on the federal government to zero rate the Sales and Services Tax (SST), waive excise duty and lower personal income tax contribution rate for year assessment 2019 and 2020.
Its secretary general Priscilla Lau believed that Penjana, the short-term economic recovery plan announced by Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin yesterday, looked good but fell short in areas that really mattered.
She believed zero rating the SST and other measures such as waiving the excise duty for cars and lowering the individual income tax will have greater impact for the rakyat in assisting them in mitigating the financial burden arising from the Covid-19 pandemic.
“The greater impact to immediately assist the whole of Malaysia to be more economically sound will be to zero-rate all SST effective immediately.
“This will leave a bigger spending power in the pockets of the people as a whole.
“Another immediate hardship that the people are facing is the imminent loom of the payment of individual tax by August 31, 2020.
“The most effective way to revive an economy is to increase the spending power of the people and that requires money to be readily available in the hands of the people.
“The government is therefore encouraged to seriously look into the tax rate and revise the same for this period of recovery so that income of less than RM10,000 per month shall be exempted from taxes for the Years 2019 & 2020 and other incomes are staggeredly reduced accordingly,” she said in a statement.
Lau opined that incentives from the economic stimulus packages must boost all the people of the whole economy and should not be selective to one whilst detrimental to another.
She believed more direct benefits like zerorization of SST and waiver or reduction of income tax must be considered and implemented by the government with immediate effect.
On the huge amount of several economic stimulus packages which amounted to RM295 billion, Lau said the federal government needs to be transparent on where and how it spends the money.
Regarding the automotive industry, Lau said the exemption of sales tax for locally assembled cars and imported cars only provided a small benefit to buyers.
Rather, she said the government was encouraged to remove the exorbitant excise duty of 75 per cent to 105 per cent on cars.
Lau asserted that there was also import duty of 10 per cent to 30 per cent which is payable together with the SST for imported cars.
She observed that the transport infrastructure in Sarawak made it essential for each family to have one car, for instance going to work and so forth.
Therefore, she believed sales tax exemptions on cars will not make much of a difference to the country’s whole economy.—DayakDaily