PKR’s Wong Chen criticises Budget 2021

(PKR) – Subang MP Wong Chen has questioned a number of elements announced in the federal budget.

Taking to social media, the PKR man wondered how subsidies and social assistance will be reduced to RM18.85 billion for 2021, down from RM 20.14 billion this year, during a period when many have called for increased social protections.

“How can this be right? The government is probably moving expenditure items about and moving them to the Covid-19 Fund?”

He also called the finance minister’s projected corporate income tax collection “super over-optimistic,” after Tengku Zafrul Aziz said they predicted a take of RM64.60 billion in 2021, more than the RM63.75 billion collected in 2019, before the Covid-19 pandemic struck.

“I suppose the government believes that Covid-19 will just disappear on Jan 1, as predicted by the super genius Trump,” he joked, referring to US President Donald Trump’s comments on the pandemic.

However, he noted the 1% reduction in personal income tax for those earning RM50,000 to RM70,000, adding that while he had proposed a 2% cut for all taxpayers, “something is better than nothing.”

He also noted that the finance ministry has yet to announce a loan moratorium for companies, after targeted moratoriums were announced for B40 and M40 earners.

Wong then pointed to how the government’s development expenditure is set at a record high of RM71 billion.

“Wow! However this could also be an accounting treatment,” he said.

On Pakatan Harapan’s proposal to Tengku Zafrul last Sunday, to spend more money on internet connectivity and better water supply, Wong said it did not seem to have made much impact on the finance minister.

“He has responded with a miserable RM3.3 billion (4.8% of the total development expenditure) to cover electricity, water supply, telecommunications and sewage,” Wong said.