PETALING JAYA: Instead of introducing new taxes, the Pakatan Harapan government should focus on enhancing its spending efficiency and introducing business-friendly policies to help local businesses flourish, says Datuk Seri Dr Wee Ka Siong.
The MCA deputy president said this would, in turn, increase investment, create jobs and eventually expand the economy and increase federal revenue.
He made the suggestions in response to Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad’s statement that the government was looking at introducing new taxes to raise revenue in order to repay the massive debts incurred by the previous administration.
Dr Wee also said he found it most ironic that Pakatan Harapan was insisting on spending a huge sum of capital on a new national car project, while it kept on talking about national debt and the necessity of new taxes to raise federal revenue.
"The government must walk the talk.
"Instead of enforcing new taxes that hurt the people’s pockets, it should not be wasting money on the third national car project, which is totally unnecessary," he said.
"Pakatan Harapan government needs to understand that any economic policy will set off a chain reaction.
"When the government reaches into the pockets of the middle and upper class, the lower income group will be affected as well.
"What’s worrying is that the elites may find creative ways to evade tax, leaving the middle and upper class, as well as the small and medium entreprises (SMEs), to suffer under the new tax regime," he said.
Dr Wee, who is also Ayer Hitam MP, said if business slowed down for SMEs, their employees might risk losing stable income.
"SMEs will also transfer rising costs to consumers, which adds to the burden of all citizens," he said.
Dr Wee said Dr Mahathir's statement made at an investors' conference on Tuesday (Oct 9) reinforced speculations that Pakatan Harapan was likely to impose inheritance tax, capital gains tax and even wealth tax in Budget 2019.
"Pakatan Harapan, since its Pakatan Rakyat days, has always advocated broadening the government’s tax revenue through the implementation of the inheritance tax and capital gains tax.
"In 2014, for example, Pakatan Rakyat proposed in its alternative budget for 2015 that a levy of 10% to 30% inheritance tax be imposed on beneficiaries of assets worth RM5mil and above.
"In the same alternative budget, Pakatan Rakyat called for the capital gains tax to be imposed on profits reaped from transactions in the market."Capital gains tax was once again mentioned in Pakatan Haparan’s shadow budget for 2016," he said.
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