KUALA LUMPUR: Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak has stressed the importance of continuing the government’s deficit reduction measures to ensure the country achieves a balanced budget by 2020. On the eve of unveiling the 2015 Budget in the Dewan Rakyat, he said the government was on track to meet its fiscal deficit targets which included reducing the deficit to 3.5 percent by year-end and three percent by end-2015. “It is wrong to pass the burden of debt to the next generation. We must pass on a stronger economy with less debt. “We must do what is right for Malaysia’s economy, not what is popular. By doing so, we will ensure long-term prosperity for the people,” he said in a statement.
Saying that the current subsidy levels were unsustainable, Najib, who is also Finance Minister, underscored his commitment to subsidy rationalisation, noting that fuel subsidies had increased from RM1.6 billion per year in 2002 to RM2 billion per month in 2014. He added that Budget 2015 would be “pro-rakyat” and would include measures to ease concerns over the cost of living.
He also said the Budget would help enhance job opportunities, improve education and create more affordable housing. Najib too, underlined the importance of the 1Malaysia People’s Aid (BR1M) programme. “BR1M will continue as it is part of our manifesto. It is part of our subsidy rationalisation. By switching from blanket subsidies to more targeted support, we are getting better value for money,” he said. For more information, please can contact [email protected] and visit www.treasury.gov.my to watch the Budget speech live, to download the Budget speech after it has been delivered, the Economic Report and other key documents.