KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 3 — PAS has urged voters to use the Seri Setia state seat by-election to voice their disapproval of the Sales and Services Tax (SST).
The party said the new government’s move to revert to the SST failed to lower cost of living, a key pledge Pakatan Harapan made in the run up to the May 9 general election.
“The reintroduction of the SST merely recycled the problem and failed to solve the core issue that is rising prices of good and the burdensome escalating cost of living,” the Islamist party said in a statement issued today.
“Government intervention in the market through consumption tax will ultimately hit the people.”
PAS opposes both the SST and the Goods and Services Tax (GST), arguing that the five to ten per cent sales tax on producers will still have a compound effect on consumer prices.
It claimed the SST is also less transparent and has a duplication effect, claiming consumers will likely be taxed twice for services at eateries since operators already charge services charge before the SST.
Instead the Islamist party is pushing for an alternative tax regime that would target top income earners at a 2.5 per cent rate. PAS dubs this an Islamic tax.
“We have a formula that won’t burden consumers, it would only be for the 1 and 3 per cent among the T20s with a very reasonable rate of 2.5 per cent if we are mandated to govern in the 15th general election,” the party said.
The SST came into force on September 1, replacing the unpopular GST.
The PH government claimed reverting back to the SST should bring down prices, but critics of the tax claimed the effect on prices has been marginal.
PAS candidate Dr Halimah Ali faces PH’s Halimey Abu Bakar in a straight fight for the Seri Setia state seat by-election this Saturday.