Thursday, January 28, 2016

PM: Workers' contribution for EPF reduced by 3 percent

What say you on the issue below?

The slide in oil prices has forced the governement to conduct what it calls a "budget recalibration exercise".
In other words, the government is now forced to make budget cuts to adjust for a fall in revenue.
The government will also need to introduce measures to boost revenue as well as support consumers, to avoid a severe contraction of consumer spending at times of austerity.
Below are the salient points, from Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak's speech in Putrajaya today:
  • Compulsory Employee Provident Fund contribution by employees to be reduced by 3 percent from March 2014 to December 2017. Employers' contribution remains;
  • Tax breaks of up to RM2,000 for those earning RM8,000 per month or less in the 2015 assessment year;
  • Liberalisation of approved permits for selected agriculture products, including coffee and meat;
  • New farmer's market called MyFarm Outlet to sell food products at 5-20 percent lower than retail prices;
  • RM50 cash subsidy per one tonne of raw paddy, to incentivise farmers to produce rice;
  • Registered hardcore poor families to receive 20kg of rice every month;
  • All new houses costing RM300,000 and below can only be sold to first-time housebuyers;
  • Continuation of housing loans at 4 percent interest for 10,000 housebuyers who are buying units costing RM35,000 and less;
  • A total of 744 PSD bursaries will be given out, but only for studies at local private or public universities, and 8,000 PSD scholarships for undergraduate studies at local institutions.
    A total 200 PSD scholarships for engineering degrees in Japan, South Korea, Germany and France, top 20 SPM scorers will be sponsored to study anywhere in the world;
  • No visa needed for tourists from China from March 1-Dec 31 for visits no longer than 15 days, subject to conditions;
  • Revision of levy for foreign workers, not including domestic workers. Those without permit will be allowed to get themselves legalised;
  • RM6 billion allocated to assist small-medium enterprises and start-ups;
  • Government-linked companies to reduce salary gap between top management and workers;
  • Goods and services tax to remain at prevailing rate of 6 percent;
  • No paycut, sackings or contract termination for civil servants;
  • Salary revision of civil servants, as announced in Budget 2016 speech, to continue in July 2016;
  • No compromise on bumiputera agenda;
  • More efforts to be taken to clamp down on tax evaders;
  • Allocation for training for retrenched workers.