KUALA LUMPUR: Umno Supreme Council member Datuk Seri Abdul Rahman Dahlan described the Pakatan Harapan’s Alternative 2018 Budget as irresponsible, unrealistic and unsustainable.
He said the “promises” of cutting taxes and spending wisely did not transpire in the Penang and Selangor operating expenditures (opex), which recorded an increase of manifold since they took over the states in 2008.
“They told us they would spend wisely, they would cut taxes and they want Malaysians to choose hope.
“They would never tell the Malaysians the fact that the opex in Penang and Selangor have increased.
“Penang recorded RM825.9 million in 2015 as compared to RM252.3 million in 2007, while Selangor recorded RM2.34 billion in 2015 as compared to RM1.15 billion in 2007,” he said.
Rahman said the opposition had also failed to provide solid plan on how they were planning to materialise their “good promises”.
“And then there this promise of cutting taxes which is to eliminate the good and service tax (GST) and to reduce the excise duty for vehicles.
“On top of that they also promise to abolish toll, provide free education and saving RM20 billion from fighting corruption.
“Of course there is no plan on how they would finance the cost to buy back all toll concessionaires in Malaysia, no concrete plan on how they would repay RM40 billion the National Higher Education Fund Corporation (PTPTN) loans that are owed to financial institutions or how to save RM20 billion every year from fighting corruption,” he said.
All these would lead to higher borrowing costs for the government and many other catastrophic effects which would also burden the people in the long term, Rahman said.
“Notwithstanding the fact that abolishing tolls, providing education and increasing minimum wage will cost hundreds of billions of ringgit over the long term.
“These promises would not create jobs, boost income or reduce cost of living instead it would cause businesses to stop hiring, existing workers would lose their jobs, credit rating agencies would downgrade government bond ratings which will lead to higher borrowing costs for the government and many other catastrophic effects not only to the government but also directly to the people,” he said.
Rahman said Malaysians should not be deceived with the opposition alternative budget instead they should realised that the only budget that would positively impact them would be the one that the Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak would announced on Friday.
“The World Bank, the IMF and credit rating agencies have commended the current government for taking the right approach towards a sustainable fiscal policy by implementing GST and rationalising subsidies. Meanwhile the opposition is promising to implement the exact opposite of those policies.
“One thing that we are sure we can count on the opposition, is, they will most definitely stage a walkout just like what they did in 2017 Budget presentation,” he added.