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Perception That GST Will Increase Cost Of Living Not Right

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PONTIAN – The perception that the Goods and Services Tax (GST) would increase the cost of living is not right, said Deputy Finance Minister Datuk Ahmad Maslan.

On the converse, he said, as announced by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak when presenting Budget 2015 recently, the prices of 54 per cent of 900 items would come down with the implementation of GST.

“Currently, these items are taxed 10 per cent and with GST, they would only be taxed six per cent. Also, the daily necessities are not taxed,” he said.

Ahmad said this after the groundbreaking ceremony for Nur Hidayah Kampung Parit Betak Darat surau here today.

He said the daily non-necessities, which were not taxed now, would be charged GST.

Ahmad said this when asked to comment on the survey by the Malaysian Employers Federation (MEF) which projected a slightly higher salary increments in 2015 with executive salary expected to rise by 5.89 per cent and 5.78 per cent for the non-executives.

The MEF said the expectation was in line the fact that some 49.5 per cent of the participating companies would take into account the implementation of GST in forecasting the salary increase for 2015.

On whether there was a need for salary increases, Ahmad said the move was good but warned of its impact on the economy.

“The employers should meet the demand for a RM900 minimum pay for Peninsular Malaysia and RM800 for Sabah and Sarawak first and then consider salary increases,” he said.

Meanwhile, Ahmad said, the Fiscal Policy Committee would decide whether the retail prices for RON95 petrol and diesel would be fixed according to a managed float within two weeks.

He said the decision would be made after the Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (Opec) meeting which was expected to be held next week.

“If Opec decided to cut production, it would help stopped the prices from falling.

“However, if the prices continue to fall even after Opec cut production, then the managed float would be used,” he said. – BERNAMA

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