2012 budget: Not transformative but a desperate vote buying bid with tax payers’ money

By Lee Wee Tak
A transformative buget?
Najib administration’s 2012 budgeted expenditure totaled RM230.8 billion with operating and development components at RM181.6billion (78%) and RM49.2 billion (22%) respectively.
It is bandied as a budget for next phase of development and transformative in nature but I can’t see how transformative this budget can be when the bulk of allocation is not meant for development but just keeping the existing machinery moving. A damning indicator is that salaries and allowances for our bloated civil servants are budgeted at RM52billion, much greater than development expenditure and more thandouble the total amount of personnel income tax collected at RM21billion.

Instead I see plenty of handouts for vote buying but no clear indication of how this budget is going to be financed. Revenue for 2012 is budgeted to increase up to RM186.9 billion, up tremendously from RM159.6 billion in 2010, with steep increases from petroleum income and company taxes.

The BN administration has taken heart from the increases reflected in its latest forecast for 2011 but there is no consideration about being prudent with the windfall and starting to trim excesses. Let’s hope BN’s revenue forecast for 2012 is not erring on the optimistic side in view of the difficult economic climate predicted for 2012.

But you can’t do any good to your revenue collection by granting Lynas, who is setting up a grim reaper kind of factory and enjoying super normal profit, a 12 year tax holiday (which is 2 years beyond the stipulated period in our Income Tax Act, 1967)

There is more than 1 budget, you know
Total expenditure in Pakatan Rakyat’s alternate budget for 2012 is RM220.5 billion which is lower than BN’s latest forecast for 2011 RM230.8 billion and yet BN MPs are already calling it plucking figures out of thin air/irresponsbible etc.


How can a bigger spender with proven record of weak financial control criticise a new administration which have proven financial management record and praised by the Auditor General?