KUALA LUMPUR: The targeted fuel subsidy programme will be rolled out in the second half of 2024 to optimise resources towards those who need it the most.
Economy Minister Rafizi Ramli said that having the top 20 (T20) group receiving 53% of blanket fuel subsidies was not a sustainable – or equitable – model.
“These efforts are in line with the government’s central position of widening the fiscal paradigm we work in.
“Our public finances ran a fiscal deficit of more than 5% for three consecutive years, and we must find new avenues to mobilise our resources and reduce wastage within the system,” he said in his keynote address at the National Economic Outlook Conference (NEOC) here yesterday.
According to Bernama, Rafizi said implementing the subsidy retargeting programme by the end of 2024 would immediately translate into a better fiscal position for the country.
Meanwhile, he said his ministry would table the Progressive Wage Policy in Parliament in three days to fix the systemic issue of low wages in Malaysia.
He said the government remained mindful that wage growth must be productivity-driven through upskilling efforts.
“This has been emphasised by the five HGHV (high growth, high value) sectors identified in the mid-term review, where we want to produce a greater proportion of technological-frontier jobs. “It remains shocking to me that our median wage is only RM11 above the poverty line,” he added.
Malaysia’s median wage in early 2023 was RM2,600 while the national poverty line was defined as a monthly income of RM2,589.
Hardcore poverty was defined as a monthly income of RM1,198 and below.