KUALA LUMPUR: Lower taxes and increased subsidies are what the people want – but these contradict each other, and the Government will have to find the right balance in Budget 2020, says Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad.
"You can't have lower taxes and increases in subsidies – there must be a balance between the two," said the Prime Minister.
"We try to lower taxes, but the Government must have money. If you are going to give subsidies, you must have money.
"If you lower too much, you have no money and you cannot subsidise.
"Subsidies will be given, not just outright to everybody. It will be given to deserving groups of people; even among the B40, there are people who will not need subsidies.
"We are going to detail who should receive subsidies from the Government," said Dr Mahathir.
Budget 2020 will be presented in Parliament on Friday (Oct 11) by Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng.
This will be the second budget under the Pakatan Harapan government.
Dr Mahathir was speaking to the media after launching the International Greentech and Eco Products Exhibition and Conference Malaysia (iGEM) 2019 at the Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre here on Thursday (Oct 10).
He further said that the principle of the government has always been to tax the rich more than the poor.
A public poll conducted by The Star on Thursday that reducing personal income taxes and increasing subsidies for rice, flour, cooking oil and other essential items were the two most popular choices of readers.
These were what respondents thought were the best way to reduce the impact of a higher cost of living ahead of Budget, 2020 which will be tabled on Friday.
Did you find this article insightful?