Many members of the public here have given the thumbs-up to Budget 2009, hailing it as a people-oriented budget.
But they also feel that certain aspects need to be looked into for a more holisitic coverage.
It’s definitely a people-oriented budget which takes into consideration the challenges faced by people in this global environment of higher prices and slower economic growth.
Exempting households which incurred monthly electricity bills of RM20 or less from paying is a good starting point on the part of government to lessen the financial burden of the lower income group. But it is felt t between RM40 and RM60 would be a more prudent amount as most families had fans, iron, television set, cookers and so on and hence, the monthly electricity consumption would be between RM40 and RM60 taking into consideration the higher prices of fuel.
And hence, adjusting the amount to RM40 per month would benefit more people, in particular those earning less than RM700 monthly and had a family.
On road tax reduction, it was uncertain whether tour bus was included but was quick to point out that if included, it could help boost the tourism industry. If there is such a benefit, it will help promote tourism industry which in turn, will boost the economy. In fact, tourism is one of the main contributors to the economy for places like Thailand.
On another note, the move to levy higher duties on cigarettes are welcome as such a move could help to promote healthy lifestyle among Malaysians more effectively.
While Budget 2009 was people-friendly, it was imperative that people continued to adjust their lifestyle to fit into the economic reality.
We also have a role to play in ensuring a better quality of life. And we can start by practising a prudent spending habit, adding people should also get into the habit of saving.
For the public relations and marketing manager of a local firm, the budget reflected the government’s effort in lessening the burden of the people in particular, the lower income group.
The government could consider looking into the toll charges at the Lanang Bridge. The toll charges might be financially burdening those in the lower income group who made use of the crossing daily. Perhaps, by waiving toll charges, more development could be spurred and this can be a win-win situation for everybody.
Improvement in public transport combined with the tax exemption for new investments by operators of four-star and five-star hotels would further boost the tourism industry and at the same time create more job opportunities for locals.