Water and electricity may be exempted from SST hike, says Armizan

KUALA LUMPUR: Water and electricity may be exempted from the planned sales and service tax (SST) hike, says Datuk Armizan Mohd Ali.

The Domestic Trade and Cost of Living Minister said his ministry had completed a special study on the possible effects of the hike from 6% to 8% due to come into effect on Friday (March 1).

He said the results of the study would be presented to the National Action Council on Cost of Living (Naccol) for consideration soon.

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“The special study was already presented during an internal ministry meeting about two weeks ago.

“The issue will be brought up for further study and consideration in the planned meeting with Naccol,” he said in the Dewan Rakyat on Tuesday (Feb 27).

He was responding to concerns raised by Datuk Seri Dr Wee Ka Siong (BN-Ayer Hitam) about the possible negative impact of the hike on the people.

“If we can give telecommunications, parking and food and beverage exemptions from the hike, why can't we give it to core essentials like water and electricity?

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“Electricity rates have increased and water rates have also gone up by 21%, come March the people's burden will only get worse with the tax hike,” Dr Wee said.

From Friday, the SST rate for most services, including overseas-based digital services, will be increased.

Services that were untaxed previously, such as karaoke outlets, delivery, brokerage and underwriting services, will also be subjected to the new rate of 8%.

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