Friday, June 13, 2008


Income tax cut possible
2009 Budget proposals may include income tax exemption or reduction


Personal income tax exemption or reduction to lighten the people’s burden following the fuel price hike and food supply crisis is among the proposals put forward during the 2009 Budget consultation yesterday. Second Finance Minister Tan Sri Nor Mohamed Yakcop said the proposal was made by several Barisan Nasional (BN) Members of Parliament during the consultation between the BN Backbenchers Club and Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, who is also Finance Minister, at the Finance Ministry here. “We will include this point as a proposal and see whether it will be implemented in this budget,” he told reporters after the consultation. According to records, personal income tax exemption and reduction to one or two percent had been implemented on 91,000 tax payers in the 2002 Budget. Nor Mohamed said at the moment, only one million of the 10.5 income earners in Malaysia paid tax. He said those who were single and earning less than RM2,950 monthly need not pay income tax, while those married and with children were also not required to pay the tax if they earned less than RM3,200 monthly. “Out of one million tax payers, only 38,000 pay at a high quantum of 28 percent.” Nor Mohamed said income tax contributed about RM10 billion out of the estimated national income at RM147 billion this year. He said the 2009 Budget would also focus on improving the transportation system, including the Government buying buses for use not only in Kuala Lumpur and Penang but also in other areas, besides providing incentives to public transport operators. Prior to this, the Government had announced its plan to buy 100 buses including 30 in the next few months for the purpose. Currently, about 20 percent of the Malaysia’s population use public transport compared to between 50 percent and 70 percent in western countries. Efforts are being made to encourage the people to use public transport to increase the usage to 40 percent in the next few years. -Bernama