Photo: John Morgan, Creative Commons.
Photo: John Morgan, Creative Commons.

How much is being allocated for Budget 2015?

Budget 2015 allocates a total of RM273.9 billion to be spent, almost 10 billion more than Budget 2014 when it was tabled.

How is the budget divided?

RM223.4 billion of this amount is for Operating Expenditure while RM50.5 billion is for Development Expenditure. Operating Expenditure is for the operating activities of the government in providing goods and services, including wages and salaries for civil servants. Development Expenditure is the current and capital spending on R&D to increase knowledge for new applications, basic research, applied research and experimental development.

How is BR1M affected?

RM4.9 billion of funds are to be “channeled back to the rakyat” for schemes such as BR1M. The 1Malaysia People’s Aid (Bantuan Rakyat 1Malaysia or BR1M) is a cash handout scheme introduced in 2012. This year’s budget will see that households earning less than RM3,000 a month will receive RM950 (up from RM650 last year), and those in the RM3,000 to RM4,000 income bracket will receive RM750 (up from RM450 previously).

What’s going on with GST?

GST (Goods and Services Tax) will come into force and SST (Sales and Service Tax) will be abolished. Revenue from GST in 2015 is estimated at RM23.2bil. However, several goods will be exempted. Net revenue from GST is expected to about RM690 million.

Will I have to pay more income tax?

Income tax will be reduced between 1 to 3 percentage points, exempting around 300,000 people from paying income tax. Tax payers with family and income of RM4,000 per month will not have to pay income tax.

What kind of money is being spent on national research and development?

RM1.3 billion will be allocated to the Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation to help advance Malaysia’s research and development in technology. A Public Private Research Network initiative will be set up with this aim in mind.

How about social programmes?

RM12.6 billion will be spent on “education and training, health, housing and the well-being of society.” This includes the women’s initiative where the Ministry of Women, Family and Community Development is allocated RM2.26 billion. Programmes will include strengthening the Women Directors Programme to achieve 30% participation of women in decision-making positions and improving opportunities for women to return to the job market through the 1Malaysia Support for Housewife programme.

How is PTPTN affected by Budget 2015?

Since PTPTN was established in 1997, only 46% of RM11.76 billion in loans has been collected. Budget 2015 proposes that a 10% rebate is given to borrowers who make regular repayments, and an additional 20% discount for those who make lump sum repayments.

Will housing become more affordable?

The Youth Housing Scheme will waive the down-payment of the first home purchase of 20,000 married couples between the ages 25 to 40, as long as their combined income does not exceed RM10,000, and the price of the property does not exceed RM500,000. The government will also provide RM200 per month for the first two years to help with loan repayments.

Mabel Ho

Read the full budget speech here.