PAS: Budget 2016 un-Islamic


(Malay Mail Online) – Budget 2016 does not comply with Islam that puts the public’s interest as the foremost concern, said PAS president Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang.

Abdul Hadi said the PAS research centre’s review of the spending plan tabled by Putrajaya also found other instances of deviation from Islam’s values, and his party will submit recommendations to improve Budget 2016 that it said “burdens the people, soothes the government”.

Among the party’s complaints are the concentration of wealth among the elite, the lack of progressive taxation, and inadequate focus on the welfare of those with low incomes or in poverty.

“Overall, PAS views the contents of Budget 2016 as covering all the elements important to the country’s development. PAS acknowledges that there are several elements that may bring prosperity to the people.

“However, PAS observes that there is significant non-compliance with Islamic principles, particularly the implementation of the [Good and Services Tax] that taxes the poor and impoverished; as such, the Budget is considered a ‘budget that is pleasing to the government but troubling to the people’,” he said in a statement.

PAS was also of the view that the decline in the ringgit’s value and rising cost of living are two areas that the federal government could do more to address, he added.

The Islamist party then suggested a tax on corporate savings and a levy on share trading as measures to counter the fall in petroleum revenue as well as an import substitution tax to offset the falling value of the ringgit.

Steps suggested to address rising costs include the introduction of cost of living allowances (COLA) by all employers and an increase in affordable housing.

“Detailed explanation on the implementation of these suggestions is contained in a document that will be handed over to the government and announced later to the public,” he said.

Putrajaya tabled its 19th consecutive deficit Budget in October, but aims to reduce its chronic overspending to 3.1 per cent of GDP from the expected 3.2 per cent this year despite falling revenue.

Opposition lawmakers are aiming to block the approval of the Budget as an indirect vote of no confidence against Putrajaya, but PAS previously said it will abstain from voting.

Parliament will make its final vote on the proposed Budget on December 1.