Detailing response to Budget 2009 by Anwar on Tuesday
Posted August 31, 2008on:
|Budget unable to ‘revive economy’|
|Andrew Ong | Aug 30, 08 5:06pm|
|Budget 2009 tabled yesterday did not provide enough business friendly incentives, charged PKR treasurer-general William Leong.
“It is a band-aid budget, with no strategy to address the issues of developing business as an answer to the economic problems,” Leong told a press conference after a Selangor state government function in Shah Alam today.
He said that the government did not provide enough incentives for local businesses to reinvest while little was done to attract more foreign direct investment.
He said that considering the sluggish local economy, PKR had expected the government to announce methods to spur businesses.
“Otherwise, the natural reaction of businesses in difficult times, is to cut down (their expenses). If they do that, it is going to be difficult for the people,” he said.
Real income vs inflation
Selangor PKR liaison chief Khalid Ibrahim also criticised the budget, saying that there were no major announcements on how the government can help the public increase their real income in view of high inflation.
He said that in place of this, the government merely offered subsidies and ‘goodies’, such as the RM400 tax rebate for those earning RM35,000 and below which he termed as a “disgrace”.
Referring to the now-defunct Barisan Alternatif’s election manisfesto, Khalid said the coalition had earlier promised RM1,500 rebate.
While welcoming the move by the government to give away free electricity to those who have a bill of less than RM20, Khalid said that Barisan Nasional had emulated a earlier move by the Pakatan Rakyat government in Selangor.
“It is good that they are doing that, but at one stage, in Parliament, they criticised Selangor for giving away free water, claiming that it was bribery,” said Khalid, who is also Selangor menteri besar.
Soon after Pakatan assumed power in Selangor after the March 8 general election, the state gave away 20m³ of water to each household.
PKR supremo Anwar Ibrahim is scheduled to hold a press conference to share his detailed analysis on the budget on Tuesday.