1972 Budget – a black day for the poor
Today is a black day for poor Malaysians of all races. It is the most painful budget for many years. What is to be noted is that it is particularly painful for the poor, and comparatively painless for the rich. In fact, the Finance Minister, Tun Tan Siew Sin, went out of this way to assure the rich that there will be no income tax changes to get to rich to make a greater contribution to national revenue.
The 5% Sales Tax will be a particularly iniquitous tax. Although Tun Tan has assured that essential goods will be exempted, the poor will be hit the hardest. Firstly, it is not clear what the government means by ‘essential goods’. However, an extensive range of goods will have price increase. With the general increase in the price of essential goods which have already taken place, the high unemployment rate, collapsing price of rubber, and now the iniquitous 5% Sales Tax, the Chinese poor in the towns, and new villages, the Malay poor in the Kampongs, and the Indian poor in the estates, will face even greater hardships and misery.
The DAP deplores the 1972 Budget, and in particular the 5% Sales Tax – for the pain it inflicts on the poor and the joy its gives to the rich.