Too many ad hoc goodies in Budget 2023, says think tank

07 Oct 2022 09:03pm
Finance Minister Tengku Datuk Seri Zafrul Tengku Abdul Aziz (standing) - BERNAMA
Finance Minister Tengku Datuk Seri Zafrul Tengku Abdul Aziz (standing) - BERNAMA

SHAH ALAM – A think tank deems that the newly tabled Budget 2023 as lacking proper strategy to rationalise operational expenditures and still, has too many “ad hoc goodies.”

Center for Market Education CEO Dr Carmelo Ferlito argued that the amount of money spent in operational expenditures such as civil servants, salaries and subsidies was still very high.

“If we do not improve revenue collections and cut spending, debt and inflation will become more serious problems. In particular at the light of tax cuts.

“Tax cuts are tremendously important, but they are one side of the coin. If expenditures are not effectively rationalized, then we are in trouble,” he said in a statement today.

In order to remedy such situation, Ferlito proposed for the government to rethink at how goods and services can be provided without the government being the direct employer/developer.

For example, he added that public services could be provided by private institutions and the poor supported with vouchers link to a certain type of services.

“This would bring rationalization as the government usually provide goods and services in a less efficient way than the private sector,” he said.

On matters concerning targeted subsidies, Ferlito was of the opinion that it was timely for the government to walk the talk.

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“The easiest and implementable way would be to be to provide goods and services at market price and to distribute proportional purpose-vouchers according to different income segments,” he added.

Budget 2023 was tabled in the Dewan Rakyat today by Finance Minister Tengku Datuk Seri Zafrul Tengku Abdul Aziz; with a total of RM372.3 billion allocated for the supplementary bill which will be debated in Parliament starting next Tuesday.