Expert Opinion – What to expect in the upcoming Budget 2019 and its focus areas

 
Dr Tan Consilz of KDU’s School of Business Head of Academic Department (Academic & Research) and School of Business lecturer Dr Eddy Yap (right) discussing with each other their thoughts and opinion for the upcoming Budget 2019 and the focus areas for it. KDU’s School of Business lecturer Dr Eddy Yap stressed that healthcare and education should also be the key focus for the government in the upcoming Budget 2019.

 
  
KDU’s School of Business Head of Academic Department (Academic & Research) Dr Tan Consilz highlighted that some viable solutions are required for housing market in the upcoming Budget 2019.  
In two weeks’ time, the Pakatan Harapan (PH) government will be tabling its first ever budget for the nation in the Parliament. It is definitely something the Malaysians are looking towards to seeing what will the six-months old government will be tabling, considering all the problems the nation is undergoing right now.
 
We spoke to KDU’s School of Business Head of Academic Department (Academic & Research) Dr Tan Consilz and School of Business lecturer Dr Eddy Yap for their thoughts and opinion on what Malaysians can expect from the PH government for the upcoming Budget 2019 and the focus areas.
 
In terms of expectations, Yap, who is also a chartered accountant and management consultant, pointed out that both the Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng and Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad have already cautioned the public that things would not be wonderful and thus, have urged the people to brace and sacrifice for the nation.
 
“Totally understand why they are saying this. It is because government’s liabilities have exceeded one trillion ringgit, a figure that has fuelled market worries and raised the prospect of a credit-rating downgrade,” Yap explained.
 
However, he added all these concerns are also because the government may have a revenue shortfall after the abolishment of the Goods and Services Tax (GST).
 
“The abolishment of GST in June 2018 and implementation of Sales and Services Tax (SST) last month may result in the government’s indirect tax revenue originally contributed by GST to be reduced into half.
 
“Thus, this may cause the government to increase tax revenue through other channels so in one way or another, the public may be asked to compensate for the shortfall of this tax collection,” Yap said.
 
Agreeing with Yap’s statement, Tan said that everyone was happy when the PH government abolished GST. However, the government will be introducing some new tax regime and there is a prediction, to name some of the taxes, it would be capital gain tax, property gain tax, inheritance tax and so on.
 
“Regardless which tax the government will be implementing, the question would be its effectiveness and efficiency.
 
“The other question is, is it effective for us to tax the rich and help the poor? What about efficiency and equity?” she asked.
 
Will the implementation of SST affect the upcoming Budget, Tan explained that it is hard to gauge because when it comes to taxation, it is all about generating revenue for the government and how well the government will be managing and utilising it.
 
In terms of the main focus areas for upcoming Budget 2019, Tan said that it would be housing market as it is one of the main areas that has been dragging for the longest of time to which even the previous government administration is unable to resolve it.
 
“Hope that the upcoming budget will actually have something different and effective that is able to finally solve the problem,” Tan said.
 
Tan suggested that probably the government could listen to the grassroots, and try to find out the reason for which the people especially the younger generations are not able to have their own home.
 
Meanwhile, Yap pointed out that healthcare and education should also be the key focus for the government to consider in the upcoming budget, as these two sectors are vital for any developing country.
 
“Whatever the cut backs be for the upcoming budget, the government must not compromise on healthcare and education.
 
“At the same time, it is also paramount for the government to ensure that both healthcare and education are being maintained at the highest standard possible,” Yap stressed.