Thursday 27 September 2012

Shadow budget a 'good start' for Pakatan

YOURSAY 'It is a deficit budget and not too expansionary, but above all it addresses genuine needs and concerns of the ordinary rakyat and not the elites.'

Alternative budget sans ethnic-based policies

Gerard Lourdesamy: Affirmative action that is need-based as opposed to race-based will help the nearly 70 percent of Malay households that live in poverty. Given that Malays form the single largest ethnic group, they will benefit the most from any government assistance programme.

This shadow budget is a good start for Pakatan Rakyat given its limited access to government data. It is a deficit budget and not too expansionary, but above all it addresses genuine needs and concerns of the ordinary rakyat and not the elites.

The BN budget will be the classic election budget - designed to throw crumbs at the people while preserving the status quo for the ruling elites and their capitalist cronies. It will be expansionary in order to placate Umno-BN cronies so that they can have one last chance to pillage and loot the country before they are thrown out come GE13.

Hopefully, the lower-income group will not be hoodwinked by these short-term measures from PM Najib Razak to save himself.

Jedi_Who: "Need-based assistance". Even BN ministers and cronies today might be beggars tomorrow and will need food and clothing.

Why? Their assets hidden overseas might be frozen in their long journey back to our country.

Jk7462000: I think they should have revealed the shadow budget only tomorrow afternoon. I won't be surprised if the government now gets its people to work overtime to "adjust" their budget if they think there are shortcomings.

FellowMalaysian: I ask Najib if the BN government will be able to match Opposition Leader Anwar Ibrahim's 'rakyat-centric' shadow budget this coming Budget Day.

How will such a non-partisan budget bankrupt the government? I see a prudent reduction of 20 percent in excise duty costing an affordable RM2 billion.

And a monthly welfare payment of RM550 to the poor costing only RM554 million. These are winning-tickets which should be emphasised in Pakatan's campaigns.

Anonymous_3e79: I hope to download the budget speech on Friday to see where they expect the income to come from. Spending money on our citizens and nation building is required. But we should not spend to keep the government popular.

These are hard economic times, and hard decisions needs to be done with limited resources. But I agree that the highest priority is to reduce wastages that have resulted from corruption.
Blind Freddo: Fifty years ago, the answer to Malaysians' poverty and need was education. Today the answer to Malaysians' poverty and need is education.

But in the intervening years, Malaysians have decided that a better role for education was as religious propaganda, and the best way to elevate the bumiputeras was to lower the education standard to the lowest common denominator. Welcome to the new Pakatanised Malaysia.

Rahman: You cannot outline budget measures that involve costs on a general belief that it will be financed by plugging the holes of corruption and leakages. It is throwing a net in the air.

Reducing deficit from 5.3% to 3.8% - where is the source of income? Additional income or new loans? That is almost RM90 billion!

Nice to talk about reducing deficit but almost impossible unless you have new sources of revenue. Otherwise, it's just another fool's day at the Parliament.

Onyourtoes: Rahman, let me show you how the deficit can be reduced easily without sacrificing the services provided by the government.

Can you agree with me that at the moment, the purchases and contracts of the government, on the average, are at least 20% over priced? Appoint me the director of national budget and I will show you how to cut the expenditure budget by 20% without affecting the performance and the services provided by the government.

Any head of department who can't do with 20% less will be retired. Twenty percent reduction in expenditure budget is equivalent to RM46.8 billion. Deficit problem solved, cronies kick the dust.

Rahman: Onyourtoes, you do not understand that at least 80% of expenditures cannot be reduced. These are payments for salaries, pensions and interests on loans. Only the development expenditures and purchases under operational budget can be reviewed.

As Pakatan wants open tenderm in my opinion the maximum possible savings is 5%. So your savings can be in the region of RM2.5 billion to RM3 billion. As I said, to reduce deficit by a sum of RM90 billion, you need new sources of income.

These new sources of income should not be tax-based. I have some answers, but wait until Pakatan appoints me as consultant.

Fong: Rahman, we may not be self-proclaimed experts like yourself but generally when we eliminate corruption and leakages, there will be more savings which can help buffer expenditure.

When we have a clean government, we will also have more FDI (foreign direct investment) which our country desperately need.

Maybe in time, foreigners will choose Malaysia over Singapore if it is seen a a country which is safe, politically sound and where the people are productive enough to compete internationally.

Right now, our country is a mess. The rich will always be comfortable anywhere so they are fine, but how about the majority? It has to begin from the top, hence good management will ensure organic growth.

Anonymous_rb345: Rahman, you look like a real fool if you cannot understand that the budget deficits will be plugged by eliminating corruption and white elephant mega-projects.

Imagine the government can save RM500 million alone by not paying unnecessary commissions when buying the Scorpene submarines. That money can be used to finance the operating expenditure of a few ministries.

By the way, according to your name, Najib will be the last PM from Umno.

Taikohtai: Excellent rebuttal to BN's affirmative-based budget. Minus all the stigma pertaining to race or religion, but means testing shall earn international recognition of a meritorious system of governance.

It looks like Pakatan has outdone BN even before they become the next government.

Absalom: We can see Pakatan has the feel for what the people want/need, and has done its homework. However, some proposals seem very BN-like, aiming to please the people in the short-term but are really counter productive in the long-term.

Good parents do not give their children sweets everyday to make them happy. Likewise, the budget need be an important tool to educate and create healthy mindsets of the rakyat to change with the times.

Firstly, giving money out generously doesn't really help the people, especially the poor, it only boosts inflation. Secondly, subsidies hide the real value of things. If water is cheap, the message is, it is abundant, supply is not a problem, and waste is not an issue.

Subsidised fuel is the reason why this country has such big numbers of cars relative to population, inefficient usage and pressures on infrastructure. The main goal, I think, should be a balanced budget or better, a surplus.

And the message to the people should be austerity because our resources are fast depleting.

James1067: For once, nobody is left out of the benefit by this shadow budget. As the cost of living is going up daily, Malaysians have more to gain and nothing to lose.

Well, we have a choice to give them a chance or forever face the consequences of our choice - that is to see everybody benefitting rather than the selected few.

Vijay47: I do not understand all this national financial and fiscal economics, balance of trade, rationalisation of subsidies, budget deficit, budget surplus, blah blah blah.

To get my vote, Pakatan just needs to have one policy objective - throw Umno out. The icing would be if former PM Dr Mahathir Mohamad, Sarawak CM Abdul Taib Mahmud, and the rest of the boys are brought to trial.

ForTheNation: If the photo above is an indication of a Pakatan cabinet line-up, I must say they do look significantly more intelligent than the current ruling party's cabinet line-up.

KitaAkanSiasat: Do you guys noticed that most BN politicians has large pot bellies, while Pakatan politicians are mostly of average body size?

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