Budget 2019 left out M40 and senior citizens, says Penang Gerakan

GEORGE TOWN, Nov 2 — Penang Gerakan has commended the Pakatan Harapan (PH) government for trying to fulfil some of its election promises in its first Budget announced today, but pointed out that the middle-income segment (M40) was left out in the list of goodies.

Penang Gerakan chairman Oh Tong Keong said the entire Budget, announced by Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng, seemed to target only the low-income group or B40.

“What about the M40 group? What about the middle-income earners? They didn’t get anything, no tax breaks, no benefits at all,” he said.

He said it is good to have a Budget that helps the B40 group, but there should also be some benefits for the M40 group who are also taxpayers and facing a higher cost of living.

In the Budget, various benefits and schemes were introduced for the B40 group, such as the Bantuan Sara Hidup (BSH) cash grants, B40 National Health Protection Fund, electricity subsidies and loan deductions for students, among others.

“The BSH cash grants are good but I want to know if it is only for households? What about senior citizens who are single and do not have an income? Will they get anything? They should at least be getting RM500,” he said.

Overall, he said the Budget was not extraordinary or exceptional but conceded that it was a good first effort by PH.

He added that he was glad that the government also allocated funds for Chinese schools, which had not been done before.

He noted that there was no mention of funds for flood mitigation and the protection of hill areas and the environment.

He said the declaration of tax-free incentives for Penang’s Swettenham Pier will not suffice when Penang should have seen its duty-free status returned.

 

Source: https://goo.gl/vaYYuj

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