PETALING JAYA: The government has provided allocations for the employers and employees under 2023 Budget tabled today. Among them are: Employers that employ unemployed youth for more than 3 months aged 18 to 30 are given employment incentives under the PERKESO RM150 million for Social Welfare Employment Incentive, expected to open up career opportunities for more than 70,000 job seekers. The Budget 2023 allocation is RM372.3bil compared to RM385.3bil in Budget 2022. The economy is expected to grow moderately between 4.0% and 5.0% in 2023 as compared to the forecasted 6.5% to 7.0% in 2022. The Services sector is expected to be the main contributor to 2023 GDP growth, which is anticipated to expand by 5.0% in 2023.
MEF President, Datuk Dr Syed Hussain Syed Husman PJN JP said that businesses and employees are being fairly assisted through Budget 2023 to face the expected more difficult and challenging period in 2023.
The tourism sector is given allocation of RM200mil to boost tourism and tourism activities including for chartered flight services, especially from the Middle East and East Asia. RM20mil is allocated to boost the Malaysia Healthcare Travel Council and promote the country as a premier healthcare travel destination.
The SMEs which represent about 98 % of businesses will be further assisted with RM9bil through business financing guarantee companies to enable to SMEs to get financing.
Bank Negara Malaysia will further assist the SMEs with RM10bil for automation, digitalisation, tourism and agriculture. This critical for SMEs to be relevant with the current business processes. RM1bil is granted to fund RM1,000 one-off grant for registered SMEs.
MEF welcomes the income tax restructuring for SMEs that will be reduced from 17% to 15% for the first RM10,000 earned and set to benefit 150,000 SME businesses. The extension the stamp duty exemption by up to 100% on loan or financing restructuring or rescheduling agreements until 2024 will greatly assist SMEs to restructure their financing in 2023 and 2024.
The allocation RM20mil and 3,000 trainers for National Dual Training System (SLDN) will encourage more trainees to undergo SLDN to meet the requirements of more skilled employees. SLDN proved to be an effective training system which prepare the trainees for real work place experiences.
The opportunities given to OKUs to enhance their earning capacity will make them more self-reliant and enhance their self-esteem. OKUs are being assisted to enhance potential to earn a living will be further enhanced with allocation of RM1.2bil Enhancing OKU’s earning capacity should be encouraged as OKUs should not just rely on being employed. The setting up of friendly Call Centre (Pusat Panggilan Mesra OKU) equipped with video call facilities and sign language interpreters will better meet the need of OKUs.
Encouraging and equipping the convicts with RM10mil allocation for AgroPenjara programme involving convicts into agricultural activities and involving 70ha of land in Malaysian prisons will better prepare them to reintegrate into society upon their release.
Requiring all self-employed workers to contribute to SOCSO will ensure that they are covered by SOCSO through the Employment Injury scheme. The government will bear 80% of the SOCSO contribution. Food delivery personnel, farmers, fishermen, artistes under Finas and hawkers need to contribute only 20% of the total contribution. This will be further expanded to gig economy workers and taxi drivers.
The RM150mil allocation for employment incentive, RM600-RM700 a month for three months for marginalised groups such as the disabled (OKUs), ex-convicts, Orang Asli and women to rejoin the workforce will encourage these group to join the labour force.
The various income tax reductions and restructuring will enhance Malaysia’s capacity to attract and retain more talent. The income tax exemptions for five years (from 2023 to 2028) for women who return to the workforce after taking a “career break” will increase the participation rate of women in the labour force. The incentive is expected to draw more women that left the labour force to take up employment. The resident individual income tax rate is reduced by two percentage points. Two percentage points cut on taxable income ranging from RM50,000 to RM100,000 for domiciled individuals. Taxable income range RM50,001 to RM70,000, reduced from 13% to 11%.
MEF welcomes the establishment of the National Scam Response Centre involving PDRM, BNM, NFCC and financial institutions is critical to protect the public from scammers that caused huge losses to the scammed individuals, The CyberSecurity Malaysia has been allocated RM73mil to improve monitoring, detection, and cyber forensics. A platform for the public to report online scams will also be created.
“Though MEF appreciates the various initiatives in Budget 2023, more could be done to support existing businesses to be revitalised and create more opportunities for businesses. It is important for the private sector businesses to be revitalised to enable them to be the engine of growth for the economy” adds Datuk Dr Syed Hussain.
Datuk Dr Syed Hussain states further that “MEF is of the view that wages subsidy programmes as introduced in 2020, 2021 and 2022 be continued to assist employers to sustain employment of the employees and assist the country to stabilise the labour market. MEF hopes that in the event the situation in 2023 warrant the reintroduction of wages subsidies, the government should then assist the businesses with wages subsidies to avert possible mass layoffs”.
For further information, please contact the MEF Secretariat at 03-7955-7778 or fax 03-7955-9008 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
7 October 2022