PETALING JAYA: Former prime minister Najib Razak has questioned whether the 2021 budget would be able to avoid an economic downturn and the loss of millions of jobs if Covid-19 persists or worsens next year.
He said the Bantuan government’s Prihatin Rakyat help, which provides financial aid to the vulnerable, is lower than it was in previous years. The loan moratorium, which for many was a lifeline, was also not extended.
“The money in the Employees Provident Fund Account 2 under i-Lestari is also about to run out,” he said in a statement, referring to the withdrawal facility intended to ease the members’ financial burden and assist them in fulfilling their basic monthly financial needs during the Covid-19 pandemic.
Under this scheme, the maximum amount permitted to be withdrawn was RM500 a month to fulfil the basic financial needs of the people.
Avoid Being Branded A Traitor
Should we accept a budget that will most likely fail to avert the economic downturn and which will result in the loss of a million or two million jobs, to avoid being branded a traitor?
“That’s why I suggested in my 2021 budget debate that at this point the government must take bold and extraordinary steps to address the extraordinary challenges,” Najib said in a Facebook post.
Furthermore the former finance minister said that the allocation for the Wage Subsidy Program (PSU) was smaller and questioned whether this could protect the employment of employees and safeguard against the anticipated economic downturn next year.
Since April of this year, Najib said that RM15 billion had been allocated, with each worker earning less than RM4,000 receiving RM1,200 monthly.
But the 2021 subsidy varies from that in 2020. Compared to RM15 billion, the overall allocation has fallen to RM2.4 billion. Compared to nine months ago, it has been extended by only three months,” he said.
Najib Razak added that the subsidy was now also extended to some sectors, such as the tourism industry, adding that. Compared to the previous 330,000, the total number of employers who would benefit from the assistance was about 70,000.
He added that the number of employees to benefit from this subsidy scheme would be 900,000, compared with 2.7 million previously.
The Pekan MP therefore announced that it had laid down two conditions to endorse Budget 2021. To allow EPF contributors to withdraw RM10,000 from their Account 1 and to extend the loan moratorium by another six months. However he said the government had not yet completely accepted them.
The RM322 billion budget for 2021 is currently being discussed by MPs.
In a situation where the country is fighting a rise in Covid-19 instances, Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin needs the budget to be accepted, or risks facing new polls.
More Information About:
- Pakatan Harapan Proposed Six Key Recommendations for Budget 2021
- Malaysia News: Najib EPF move by visiting pilot hawker Captain Azlin