Budget 2018 is the most inclusive and possibly the best ever. Let us take a look at the highlights. And what it means to the rakyat.
Budget 2018 is possibly the best ever
Budget 2018 is possibly the best ever as almost everybody get a little something.
Negeri Sembilan Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Mohamad Hasan told reporters on October 28, that Budget 2018 is the best ever because the previous budgets mostly covered the economy and trade activities.
Budget 2018 covered almost everybody from the fishermen to the government servants, the businessman and the ordinary rakyat.
Almost everybody in a family gets a little something
Under Budget 2018, the father gets an income tax break and gets to go home early to spend time with his pregnant wife provided they both work at the same office.
The wife will be productive when she returns to work after a 90-day maternity leave and senior citizens allowance has been increased to RM350 a month.
For children, parents can send their infants at childcare facilities to be built at all new government-linked office buildings.
For schoolchildren, RM694 million has been allocated for the construction of nine Permata centres, 48 primary and secondary schools and vocational colleges as well as RM328 million for schooling assistance and RM2.2 billion scholarships.
For univeristy students a 20 percent discount for PTPTN loans.
In short, there is a little something for everybody in a family.
Giving money back into the rakyat’s pockets
Among the highlights of Budget 2018 is the government’s announcement to reduce individual income tax by two percentage points for those who earn between RM20,000 and RM70,000 a year.
This will benefit an estimated 2.3 million people.
Another 261,000 Malaysians meanwhile are no longer subjected to income tax.
What this means is that it will increase the disposable income of the rakyat at between RM300 and RM1,000 a month.
No more toll at four highways
Another highligh is the abolishment of toll in four highways which include Batu Tiga and Sungai Rasau toll in Shah Alam.
This announcement will return the rakyat’s money by a few hundred ringgit.
Mohd Dendera Billah Zamzuri told the New Straits Times on October 28 that the abolishment of the Batu Tiga toll will enable him to save RM150 and RM200 a month.
These few hundreds will alleviate the rakyat’s cost of living and stimulate economic activities.
Hiring maids will be cheaper
Previously, it cost between RM12,000 and RM15,000 to hire a maid.
Under Budget 2018, the rakyat can just hire a maid directly from nine countries.
This will save them RM10,000 and bypass the agents and the middlemen.
Businesswoman Norain Asarullah Khan said this is definitely good news for working mothers like her because hiring a new maid is just too expensive.
Now that hiring maids are easier, the women of Malaysia can focus on their work and help the country’s economy become strong.
Economic, trade and investment activities continue to get initiatives
The government continues to boost economic trade and investment activities to strengthen Malaysia’s economy.
A total of RM7 billion was allocated for the Small and medium scale enterprises to help Malaysia’s Economic Transformation Programme.
A slew of incentives for the government servant
As expected, a total of 1.6 million government servants received a slew of incentives which include a special bonus of RM1,500 and an additional 60 days maternity leave.
This will cement stronger ties between family members which will lead towards higher productivity.
A civil servant will work harder if he spends more time with his family and able to establish a closer relationship with his family members.
Education top benificiary
Education continues to be the biggest beneficiary of the budget to ensure that the rakyat continue to get the best education.
Under Budget 2018, a total of RM2.5 billion has been allocated to upgrade an estimated 2,000 schools nationwide.
This will no doubt improve the education environment at schools and inspire the students.
The best education will position Malaysia among the knowledge economies.
Those who master the knowledge economies, will earn better income.
Health sector also top beneficiary
As always, the health and education sector continue to receive a multitude of incentives under Budget 2018.
Datuk Seri Najib allocated RM27 billion to provide quality healthcare.
This is understandable because to be a successful country, the rakyat must first be healthy.
If the rakyat is not healthy, they cannot work towards economic prosperity.
Government continues with BR1M and PR1MA
Government continues to give the Bantuan Rakyat 1Malaysia to enable the rakyat to cope with the high cost of living.
Under budget 2018, 7 million Malaysians will receive BR1M and some will get up to RM1,200. Under Budget 2018, government countinues to commit to build affortable homes for the rakyat allocating RM1.5 billion to build 210,000 homes.
MRT and LRT
The government continues to commit towards the development of the country’s transport system.
Among them are MRT2 and the LRT3, the Central Spine Road, the East Coast Rail Link and the high speed rail.
The government realises that public transport is very important and is one of the sectors which can stimulate the economy.
Government is also fair to the opposition.
The Penang airport too got an upgrade enabling international flights such as from United Arab Emirates to go direct without having to go to the Kuala Lumpur International Airport.
Not forgetting the younger generation
Datuk Seri Najib did not forget the younger generation as they are the future of the country especially those involved under the National Transformation (TN2050).
This include various schemes for the young such as the children’s unit trust scheme or ADAM 50 as well as a RM1 billion allocation for sports development in the country which include the construction of 14 new sports complexes involving a total allocation of RM112 million.
Budget 2018 – there’s something for everybody
In short, budget 2018 has touched as many lives as possible while promoting financial discipline.
New Straits Times Press group managing editor Datuk Abdul Jalil Hamid said the budget is caring which offered a slew of goodies for the low and middle income earners, women, tahfiz schools and the younger generation.
At the same time, the budget also propels the country forward to become one of the world’s most dynamic nations.