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7th Rangers: Budget 2023 priorities in the wrong place - economists By Geraldine Tong

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Budget 2023 priorities in the wrong place - economists By Geraldine Tong
Saturday, October 08, 2022

Malaysiakini : While some newly announced policies in Budget 2023 are welcomed, economists say the government is channelling the additional operational expenditure on the wrong priorities.

They also questioned the handouts announced, saying the goodies are “potentially inflationary” or that the method of distribution would lead to corruption. Speaking to Malaysiakini, here are comments from three economists on yesterday’s Budget 2023 speech:

Geoffrey Williams, Malaysia University of Science and Technology professor and economist 

We have seen what was predicted, a massive 12 percent increase in pre-election operational spending and a long list of handouts to various interest groups. The extra expected revenue has almost all been allocated to extra spending and no real attempt has been made to cut the total amount of borrowing. This is therefore a development budget fully funded by debt.

Some handouts are intriguing such as RM200, or RM17 per month, for e-wallets in e-Pemula, and a new RM100 e-wallet, or RM8.30 per month, for M40 (middle 40 percent of income earners). This is clearly aimed at introducing targeted subsidies through the e-wallet scheme for specific products, at specific shops, with a specific e-wallet. This is the worst way to handle subsidy targeting and will lead to massive transaction costs and corruption.

GreenCarp8801 : Just a stupid pride for silly arrangements! The real issues that the ignored. Where is the money coming from anyway? Hasn't the Rakyat suffered from the bad situation from the pandemic then and even now? All other countries are going through it painfully to overcome it but the overloaded bunch of cabinet guys are just enjoying the perks richly etc.

Bornean : Another terrible budget from this #backdoorFM..budget 2022 was bad, this 2023 even worst ...Nothing for common folks, except a few hundred per annum.. barely enough to buy anything now a days

non-evader : "This is clearly aimed at introducing targeted subsidies through the e-wallet scheme for specific products, at specific shops, with a specific e-wallet. This is the worst way to handle subsidy targeting and will lead to massive transaction costs and corruption."

Now it's time for our MPs to find out which specific e-wallet, shops and products are chosen for the targeted subsidies, why they are chosen and who are the bosses of those shops, the company of the e-wallet and the companies of those products.

ScallopJilatDedak : Right minded and sane Malaysian should rise to cast votes against useless budget. They only know how to spend, but don't know how to make money, only depends on handout from Petronas and rakyat taxes. PH can do 1000 times better.

VioletPhoenix1404 : Cronies budget la. Give u RM100 voter....their cronies take in RM10000....who bear the brunt? Taxpayers again

Headhunter : An election budget. Like past budgets, this one is like giving small crumbs to waitresses and bellboys while the fat cronies get all the meat. There are many loopholes for the corrupt too. At this critical time where health, productivity and high inflation are happening, there is little to encourage growth.

Giving little angpows to the lower income group is nice but it's not going to help much. The creation of jobs is more productive otherwise future budgets will only see the demand for such assistance to be increased. The only bright spark one is the lowering of income tax.

Falcon : A Cronies budget! This budget comes out 24hrs after a report warning the nation's custodians to stop borrowing to pay earlier borrowings! This is suicide! The Ringgit is still very vulnerable. Certainly, to those who live, breathe, operate from cradle to grave on corruption, subsidies and freebies Santa Claus has arrived early.

So where is the monies for this super bourgeoisie budget coming from? Whose going to pay for it? The hardworking 40 percent for the rest who suffer from that strange disease of self gratification and entitlement!

What ever that intention of Budget 2023, Malaysia remains totally in abyss with corrupt, incompetent, self-serving individuals serving an ecosystem of lazy, corrupt politicians and their base which demands, even threatens for further, subsidies as their entitlement! Do the maths!

apanama is back : Since the central bank, Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM) seems could NOT do much to stifle the inflation (BNM will be increasing the OPR next month), the onus now falls on the government to play around the fiscal policy. One thing good about this budget is the increase of development budget, the increase from RM75.6 billion to RM95.1 billion.

However, there are two things here to bear in mind. How are they going to get money for it? Petronas provide just RM50 billion. The shortfall could be covered by borrowing and/or introduce back GST. When we talk about development budget, the cronies will be happy here since these RM95.1 billion could end up in their pocket.

On one hand it is good fiscal policy to control the inflation by providing job opportunities but on the other hand, when comes to implementation they may screw it up. If the development project besides the MRT, are done by open tender then we could see the real benefits. This is how they could hide the distribution of the development fund by saying we increase the fiscal fund.

At policy side, the budget will always look good. The real issue will crop up when it comes to distribution and implementation whereby it will lead to leakage, wastage and corruption. Later the Auditor General will point out the discrepancies and give warning such as do not borrow in long term. This scenario happens year in and year out.

Unproductive allocation such as RM1.5 billion for JAKIM and RM90 billion for the 1.3 billion bloated civil servants are really a let-down. Meanwhile 450,000 families will be getting RM2.5 billion through welfare department. You could see here they got their priority totally wrong. The target is vote bank as all of us know.

One thing is sure to happen here is our debt will increase beyond RM1 trillion in coming year. Time to cut down expenses and live within their means. But the ‘tidak apaisme’ and ‘ketuanan’ are too thick to be demolished!

Bill Price : Do Malaysian financial wizards understand the difference between deficit and debt? What is Malaysia's debt and why is there seemingly no interest in reducing it?

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posted by Major D Swami (Retired) @ 9:42 AM  
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