Higher subsidies and lower taxes, please

PETALING JAYA: Reducing personal income taxes and increasing subsidies for rice, flour, cooking oil and other essential items are the two most popular choices on The Star readers’ wishlist with just a day to go before Budget 2020.

These were the two top choices among respondents of a poll by The Star when asked what they thought was the best way to reduce the impact of a higher cost of living ahead of the Budget, which will be tabled tomorrow.

As at 5pm yesterday, 1,344 readers took part in the online poll.

The survey contains five multiple choice questions on how the government can help reduce the impact of a higher cost of living, boost affordable housing and create more jobs.It also asks Malaysians what the government should do to improve access to affordable healthcare.

Each question has four possible answers and respondents are only allowed to pick one answer per question. Each respondent can only take the quiz once.

The poll is open to all and does not require respondents to state their nationality, age, gender, socio-

economic background or other personal details.On the best way to reduce the cost of living burden, 665 respondents (49%) chose a reduction of the personal income tax.

The next most popular response for the question was an increase in subsidies for essential items such as rice, flour and cooking oil.

On what the government should do to help Malaysians own homes, the most popular answer (44%) was that the government should help and encourage developers to build more affordable homes.

To create more jobs, especially for youths, the top answer (36%) was that the government must do more to attract foreign investments into the country, which can create more high-quality jobs for Malaysians.On healthcare, 39% felt that the government should introduce a national health insurance scheme that covers all Malaysians.

With Budget 2020 being the second national budget under the Pakatan Harapan government, the poll also asked respondents whether they were satisfied with how the government was managing Malaysia’s economy.A total of 545 (41%) of respondents selected “Yes, but more needs to be done”.

On the other hand, 420 (31%) chose “No” as their answer while 228 (17%) selected “No, but the government is on the right track”.

The remaining 11% of respondents said they were not sure.

To take the poll and get the latest Budget updates, interactive graphics as well as an online fuel subsidy and Bantuan Sara Hidup calculator, visit The Star’s Budget 2020 website.

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