KUALA LUMPUR: Budget 2019 has failed to protect marginalized groups including the population below 40% (B40), says Rembau MP Khairy Jamaluddin.
Khairy, who holds the shadow finance ministry's portfolio, asked the government why it did not pay particular attention to those groups struggling with the high living costs.
"During budget 2019, we thought it would be a budget for the raky street, lifting the poor, fishermen, farmers and students.
"What we see, however, is a budget on the free market, a budget for the rich, and a budget that privatizes all aspects.
"The budget has forgotten all important segments," he said while debating budget 2019 in parliament on Monday.
"How can they forget the situation of fishermen and peasants especially during this rainy season," asked the former youth and sports minister.
Datuk Seri Bung Moktar Radin (BN-Kinabatangan) interjected saying that the government had forgotten the group because "there are no poor people in Damansara, just the rich", in an apparent jab on Damansara MP Tony Pua, the Special Adviser to the Finance Minister.
Khairy continued speaking and said that "power had inflated its ego", which led to neglecting the lower income groups in the budget.
"They could not even fulfill their election manifesto and the budget would cover their failure.
"But when they presented it, they forgot the situation of the poor," he said.
Khairy noticed Budget 2019 only "copy paste, rebranding, continuation of Barisan's earlier initiative".
He took a sweep on Bantuan Sara Hidup (BSH), similar to the 1Malaysia People's Aid (BR1M) introduced by the Baroque government.
"Unfortunately, it has been reduced to RM500 to RM1 500," said Khairy.
He also expressed his disappointment at the failure of the Pakistan to fulfill his promise to postpone repayments for borrowers to the higher education funds (PTPTN) until their salary reaches at least RM4000 per month.
"Now they come with a salary of RM1 000, under the national minimum wage, to get their wages cut," he said.
Datuk Seri Dr Wee Ka Siong (BN-Ayer Hitam) interjected, the government asked why it failed to fulfill its commitments.
"In 2013, they promised that they would provide free education, but in GE14 they promised to allow PTPTN borrowers to make repayments only if their wages amounted to RM4,000.
"What has happened to his promises," he asked.
Meanwhile, Khairy, when he met outside parliament's lobby, said the budget from the Pakatan government was "very cruel" against the B40 group.
"There is also nothing for the middle class. I proposed an income tax credit for the middle class, I also proposed restructuring the income tax system so we can tax the rich more and distribute it to the middle class and the B40 groups, but it was not done by Pakatan," he said. .
Khairy also opposed that the budget previously proposed by the Barisan government was directed against B40 groups in an effort to win their support.
"First of all, we did not help the B40 group because of voices, we helped them because they are poor, so I strongly consider your opinion that we helped B40 because of voices," he said to a media question.
Khairy said that if the RM30bil special distribution from Petronas was removed from the budget this year, the amount is not too far from what Barisan presented last year.
"Payment payments are almost the same because government debt does not need to be repaid immediately. These are long-term liabilities.
"So you had almost as much money and you could have retained many of the programs for the B40 groups, but you did not.
"So to me this shows that this budget is very cruel to the B40," he added.