11 Things We Need To Know From The National Budget 2019. | WMA 富道学院

11 Things We All Need To Know From The National Budget 2019.

Graphic by Dayang Norazhar

The highly anticipated Budget 2019 has finally been announced on the 2nd November by our Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng. It is the first ever budget tabled by the Pakatan Harapan government. I have simplified the various aspects of the Budget and highlighted the key points that all Malaysians should be aware of.

1. ALLOCATION

RM 3.145 billion has been apportioned for various national building projects and development in 2019. RM 259.8 bil for operating cost and RM54.7 bil for development respectively. The government expects GDP to grow 4.9% in 2019 despite uncertainties in the global economy.  Pakatan administration committed to implementing fiscal consolidation steps to reduce the deficit to  3.4% of the GDP in 2019, 3% by 2020 and 2.8% in 2021.

2. TAXES

The government will introduce a credit system for sales tax deduction from January next year. The credit system will avoid double taxation and lower business costs. Starting Jan 1, 2019, the government will also impose a tax on imported services. This is to ensure that local service providers such as architects, graphic designers, software developers can compete more competitively. For companies, non-citizens and non-PR holders, real property gains tax will be increased from 5% to 10%. For citizens and those with PR, real property gains tax will be increased from 0% to 5%. Online services imported by users will also be required to register with the Customs Department from Jan 1, 2020. This includes software, music, videos, or any digital advertising such as Netflix and Spotify.

3. FUEL

The government will subsidise RON 95 petrol for those with cars with the engine capacity of 1,500cc and motorcycles with engine capacity of 125cc and under. The subsidy will be RM0.30 per litre and capped at 100 litres a month for cars and 40 litres a month for motorcycles. Price of RON 95 will be floated after the subsidy is put in place.

4. EMPLOYMENT

The minimum wage has been increased to RM1,100 per month for the whole of Malaysia.
Individual income tax breaks for the National Education Saving Scheme is increased from RM6,000 to RM8,000.
The government will help people who lost their jobs by fully implementing the Employment Insurance System (SIP) beginning January next year. Perkeso will implement SIP, including employment placement programmes, skills upgrades and compensation for job losses.

5. HEALTHCARE

RM29bil is allocated to all government hospitals and clinic to upgrades standard and provide quality service, which is a 7.8% increase compared with the previous year. Through a joint venture with a private insurance company, the government will introduce the B40 National Health Protection Fund. Great Eastern Life Insurance contributed RM2bil as a start-up to the fund to be managed by Bank Negara Malaysia. Tax relief for EPF contribution, life insurance or takaful premium will be separated. All open restaurant will be smoke-free zones in 2019 for a smoke-free Malaysia by 2045.

6. HOUSEHOLDS

Households with monthly income of RM2,000 and below will receive RM1,000. Monthly income from RM2,001 to RM3,000 and below will receive a total of RM750;  Monthly income from RM3,001 to RM4,000 will receive a total of RM500.

7. CIVIL SERVANTS

A bonus of RM500 for all civil servants at grade 54 and below. Increase pension of RM250 for retired civil servants. The extended loan repayment period for first and second home loans.

8. EDUCATION

Loan deductions for students from B40 households who get first class results. RM652 bil has been allocated for the improvements of government school nationwide. RM 3.8 bil has been allocated for scholarships. RM 2 bil out of it is for Bumiputera students under MARA.

9. TRANSPORTATION

Public transportation users can buy RM100 monthly passes for unlimited trips on RapidKL rail or bus services starting from January 2019. There is also an RM50 monthly pass for those who only use RapidKL buses. This scheme will be expanded to other bus companies in stages. The government will freeze toll charges on all highways in the city in 2019 with an estimated budget RM700mil. From Jan 1, 2019, no tolls for motorcycles on the First and Second Penang Bridge and the Second Link in Johor.

10. WOMEN AND CHILDREN

RM20mil to continue free mammogram for breast screening, HPV vaccination and pap smear in government hospitals and clinics. RM50mil for rare diseases treatment, Hepatitis C, programme to overcome stunting among children, screening and hemodialysis treatment and enhanced primary healthcare.

11. TOURISM

Government to impose travel tax starting June 1, 2019 for all passengers travelling overseas via air routes. RM20 for passengers travelling to Asean countries and RM40 for other countries.   How do you feel about Budget 2019 and how it affects you? Let us know in the comments and keep an eye out for more updates and analysis on all things budget-related here at WMA.
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