Budget 2015: At A Glance [Infographic]
Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak tabled Malaysia’s 2015 budget today with the theme, “Budget 2015: The People’s Economy”, this year’s offering aims to address the rising cost of living and to ensure that the county achieves a balanced budget by 2020.
Some key highlights include new additions to the list of items exempted from the hotly-debated Goods and Services Tax (GST), which will come into effect nationwide beginning April 1, 2015. The new exempted items include daily essentials such as fruits, bread, noodles, medicine and reading material.
Meanwhile, personal income tax rates will be reduced by 1% to 3%, and corporate income tax will be reduced by 1% to 2% to allow the rakyat and businesses tackle the impending price hikes that will come with GST.
Along the same vein, BR1M handouts have been increased from RM650 to RM950 for households with a monthly income of RM3,000 and below, and RM450 to RM750 for those earning between RM3,000 and RM4,000 a month. Payment for both categories above will be made in three instalments – January, May and September.
To boost home ownership amid soaring property prices, the Government has announced the Youth Housing Scheme, which offers a funding limit for a first home not exceeding RM500,000 for married youth aged between 25 and 40 years with household income not exceeding RM10,000.
New initiatives have also been announced to boost entrepreneurship among Malaysians. The Entrepreneur Development Centre or TEKUN, will provide additional funds of RM500 million, of which RM350 million will be allocated for Bumiputera entrepreneurs, RM50 million for Young Indian Entrepreneurs Financing Scheme, RM50 million for Young Professional Women Entrepreneurs Development Programme, and RM50 Armed Forces Veteran Entrepreneur Development Programme.
Another highlight is a new initiative to enhance women participation in the workforce. Currently, women represent just 38% of the total workforce in the country. The government aims to boost opportunities for women in the workplace via the 1Malaysia Support for Housewife programme, as well as to lure professional women back to work via the Women Career Comeback Programme. The Women, Family and Community Development Ministry will get RM2.26 billion to help achieve those aims.