Budget 2008 : Bonus for government staff still possible

Bonus for government staff still possible

THE Government is not dismissing the possibility of paying bonus to civil servants at a later date.

“Not everything has to be announced in this Budget. If there is something else that the Government feels is appropriate, then we can consider it and make announcements at other times,” said Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak.

Asked if this meant that there was still hope for civil servants for a bonus this year, Najib laughed off the question and said: “Wait first.”

“The Government can consider at any time if it’s necessary. But don’t forget we have increased government expenditure by more than RM8bil with the new salaries for civil servants,” he said.

Najib was speaking to reporters after the Prime Minister had tabled the 2008 Budget in Parliament yesterday.

The Deputy Prime Minister believed the Budget would give a huge shot in the arm to the country’s economic growth and improve the people’s quality of life.

“It’s not so much an Election Budget but it’s a Budget based on the national mission that we want to accomplish and hit the targets that we set,” he said.

Winning team: Abdullah and Najib showing the 2007/2008 Economic Report after the tabling of the 2008 Budget in Parliament.

He also said that the Budget democratised education and free education has now become a reality for all.

With schools fees abolished for both primary and secondary schools and text books given free to all, he pointed out that there should not be any more excuses for someone to drop out from the national school system due to poverty.

To a question on whether the Government’s decision not to reduce personal income tax could lead to a brain drain to countries like Singapore with a lower tax regime, Najib said the Government cannot be giving out too many exemptions.

“We must also pay attention to Government revenue. We have big development projects to implement and if we do not have sources of income, then we could face problems financing projects and reducing the Budget deficit.”

On whether the Government planned to increase fuel prices, Najib said, “we are not going to do anything drastic.”

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