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Saturday, September 02, 2006

Hope You Had Something Good from Budget 2007

Some people have expressed unhappiness with the budget as many have complained of wastage in government spending such as the RM48m for the uniforms for Customs.

To me the budget seems to be going in the right direction as the government is finally following the practice of reducing the annual deficit.

It is akin to the nation going on a fiscal diet and there is no quick fix as if the cutback is too large the economy will nose-dive.

Let us consider some of the features worth mentioning:

 The scholarships for ALL students regardless of race who score 10A1s for university is very good but I think the income level should be raised to RM2000pm.

 There is mention of other scholarships but the details were not clear. The other class of scholarships should be Merit Scholarships and these should be given to only the top 3 to 5% of students regardless of financial background or race.

 Removal of exam fees will also reduce the burden for parents and could reduce the number of dropouts a little as parents will not consider exams a waste of time if their children are borderline academic cases.

The following measure would help the urban poor who have somehow been neglected with the major thrust into agriculture.

To encourage developers to build homes for the urban poor, there should be a mechanism whereby those who qualify via a means test will qualify to buy a low-cost house and the person can only own one such house at a time.
At present developers have to give various discounts to all Bumi buyers with no restrictions on how many houses they already own.

This policy only serves to help the rich get richer by taxing other citizens who have to contribute more to developers’ margins. It is akin to a reverse “Robin Hood” policy. Take from the poor and give to the rich.

The Budget seems to be the highlight of the Parliamentary session for the year but I feel MPs would be better prepared to debate the Budget if the Auditor-General’s Report is tabled about 3 months before Budget Day.

This report will provide a very good snapshot of how the nation has progressed and indeed the Budget itself will clarify and provide solutions for various problems encountered with the previous budget.

Photo: Roses in Victoria, Australia. Budget is like a garden of roses. Looks good, smells nice but you also have to deal with the hidden thorns and the manure on the ground.

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