Saturday, June 19, 2021

PH wants govt to spend almost 10 times more to disburse cash

Opposition trio says government must be 'bolder' in spending, and calls for RM1,000 to be paid to workers until end of the year.

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The top three leaders of Pakatan Harapan (PH) have expressed unhappiness over the RM40 billion aid package announced by the government yesterday to help various sectors survive the latest lockdown under the movement control order (MCO).

Among others, they urged the government to spend RM45 billion in direct cash injection, saying the RM5 billion announced was not enough.

“The Perikatan Nasional government should be bolder in spending to revive economic growth and save the country from recession,” said the joint statement issued by PH chairman Anwar Ibrahim, DAP’s Lim Guan Eng and Amanah’s Mohamad Sabu.

They also called for more assistance for those in the middle-income bracket (M40), as well as an automatic extension of the bank moratorium until herd immunity is achieved through the current vaccination drive.

The coalition leaders also said the government should spend RM7 billion in the next seven months to pay RM1,000 to workers until the end of the year.

Meanwhile, they dismissed the announcement that ministers and deputy ministers would forego their salaries for three months.

They said the amount was not much as ministers and deputy ministers “still receive MPs’ monthly allowances”, adding that Parliament must convene “as the first step”.

The financial aid package, known as Pemerkasa Plus, includes a three-month moratorium on bank loans and a 50% reduction in instalment payments for six months.

RM1 billion was set aside for the public health system while RM2.1 billion was allocated for Bantuan Prihatin Rakyat.

The nationwide lockdown to remain in effect until June 14 will see most businesses shuttered yet again with the exemption of essential services and those given the green light by the government.

It was announced amid a steady increase in Covid-19 infections which hit a daily high of over 9,000 cases and 98 deaths last week.

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