TigerTalk  |  JANUARY 29, 2016 5:00AM

Budget 2016: But where are the spending cuts?

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fiery tigertalk inside storyTiger has to admit that, whatever else is said, Najib Razak can talk. But when Tiger went over the transcripts of the Budget revision, Tiger felt that something remained missing. Namely, where are the Budget cuts?

While enjoying a nice meal, TIger felt the need for some mealtime entertainment and decided, what better than to go over the transcript of our prime minister going over the revision of Budget 2016?

However, when Tiger went over the items, Tiger had to really stop chewing and start thinking, as there seemed to be something incredibly important missing. Oh yes, where in the whole of the darn thing are the budget cuts?

The Budget recalibration steps fielded by Najib Razak continue to feel like sweeping notions and vague statements to this Tiger, considering the lack of any numbers. Before Tiger gets pounced on and berated, yes, Tiger knows that there is mention that the government will be saving up to RM11 billion, but where, exactly, will the savings come from?

Budget 2016 najib razak cover photoIt is definitely all fine and dandy for the prime minister to declare that there will be expenditure cuts in the supplies and services segment. That’s good. But what’s the specific plan in action?

Each cost-saving measure dealing with government expenditure is announced in a vague manner, suggesting that something will be done, but with no timeline or targets to speak of. Malaysians deserve better than that.

And that is before we even ask about the prime minister’s RM20 billion or so budget for his own department – is that going to be trimmed? Doesn’t look like it.

Feels to Tiger like that one time when Harrison Ford was convinced to say something about the new Star Wars movie by Conan O’Brien, and dear Mister Ford had very happily and smugly revealed that there would be a new movie! Purposefully vague, and playing up the hopes of the audience.

In all honesty, this feels like a stall for time to this Tiger, with vague hand-waving being done to appease the rakyat. The reason for the stall? Tiger can only hazard guesses, but since guesses can indeed be hazardous to one’s health, this Tiger shall opt to keep those guesses close to Tiger’s chest.

Speaking of options, Tiger would also like to caution employees against taking the option to pay up to 3% less to EPF. This move, while good for the domestic retail trade in that it would boost consumer spending, would actually be detrimental to the future of the employee. The EPF account is meant to be the savings of the person to be used in retirement, and Tiger would honestly advise against using the money now.

Generic inside story image EPF 090215 01Furthermore, if the money is used now instead of saved in EPF, it will not be gaining the 6% interest that is offered by EPF. As the old saying goes, a penny saved is a penny earned, but a penny spent… well, it stays spent.

As it is, Tiger continues to feel that the Budget recalibration could use more hard numbers, as well as more tightening of the belt by the government. As it stands, Tiger cannot help but feel that, not only is the government not tightening its belt, it is acting like the grasshopper towards the ant, and encouraging the rakyat to spend more along with it.

Tiger had hopes for the Budget recalibration, but the old adage about spitting in one hand and wishing in the other just seems to keep coming true. Tiger can only continue to hope that Malaysia holds strong in the face of the economic headwinds.

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