In alternative budget, Pakatan Harapan says will zero rate all GST items

Opposition coalition Pakatan Harapan says it will zero rate all goods and services tax (GST) items if it comes to power.

The coalition said this in its alternative budget unveiled in Parliament today.

However, it does not intend to abolish the entire GST system, it said.

"Maintenance of the GST system at zero rate will provide additional statistical economic data to assist in tax and market analysis," the budget document said.

It said it could offset the loss of GST income by making RM30 billion in savings by stamping out "wastage and corruption", and also by shutting down several state-linked corporations.

PKR secretary-general Rafizi Ramli, one of the minds behind the alternative budget, said abolishing GST altogether would be counterproductive as the government had already spent up to RM5 billion introducing the new GST system.

"They have spent so much on software and training. Simply abolishing it would be equivalent to asking the operations to revert to whatever it was before the system was put in place," he said.

He said this would then cause "another round" of acclimatisation.

"It's better to get value of the current system," he said.

The alternative budget also said cash handouts such as Bantuan Rakyat 1Malaysia (BR1M) would not be stopped but instead revised to reach more targeted groups. – October 21, 2015.