Economist expects a "lean and mean but supportive" Budget 2019

PETALING JAYA (Oct 10): SERC Sdn Bhd executive director Lee Heng Guie expects to see a “lean and mean but supportive” Budget 2019.

Speaking at the media briefing of Property Industry Survey 1H2018 & Market Outlook 2H2018 & 1H2019 held in Kelana Jaya today, Lee expects a very different budget from the previous.

“From all those hints from the government ever since the last election, I think we are going to have a lean and mean but supportive budget next year,” Lee said during his presentation session entitled “Challenging Transition for New Malaysia”.

His prediction is also based on the current financial situation of the country and the new government's  eagerness to lower the debt.

According to Lee, Malaysia has RM1.0873 trillion debt and liabilities, or 80.3% of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and unbroken 21 consecutive years of fiscal deficit since 1998.

“I’m expecting a responsible yet disciplined budget that can smoothen out the impact of expenditure rationalisation on the economy.

“Some necessary yet unpopular fiscal restoration measures and new taxes may be introduced to help plug the large financing gap in the budget. Spending may also be cut or reformed in both unproductive and over-inflated cost of operating and development expenditures.

“Besides that, review cost of living aid to make them conditional and be prioritised for the truly underserved and vulnerable groups and review the fuel subsidy program eligibility, healthcare for B40 group, soda tax to discourage unhealthy diets, and some dispose of government’s assets may be on the cards,” Lee predicted.

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