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Bring back GST in 2024 budget, G25 tells govt

The government can use the revenue from the goods and services tax to give cash aid for the poor to offset any price increase, G25 said. (Bernama pic)

PETALING JAYA: The government should reintroduce the goods and services tax (GST) in the 2024 budget in order to strengthen the country’s revenue base, says a group of prominent retired civil servants.

The group that is popularly known as G25 said a stronger revenue base will help the government to devise a better pensioner’s scheme for the civil service, among other things.

“Implementing the GST and reducing fossil fuel subsidies will provide much higher revenue.

“The government can use a portion of it to compensate the poor for the additional costs to their daily expenditures. The cash transfers will help the poor cope with the GST,” it said in a statement.

The group also lamented that the government had yet to resolve the pension scheme adjustment for retired civil servants following the Federal Court’s unanimous decision in June to strike down an amendment to the Pensions Adjustment (Amended) Act passed in 2013.

Describing the amendment to Section 3(2) of the Act as unconstitutional, the apex court said the provision had put former civil servants in a “less favourable situation” with regard to their entitlement to increments in their pension.

The applicants, former Wisma Putra staff member Aminah Ahmad and 56 retired civil servants, had challenged the amendments made to the Act in 2013, by which a new pension scheme was introduced giving pensioners a flat rate of 2% annual increment.

Under the scheme which was in force before the amendment, the pension of government retirees was to be revised based on the prevailing salary of incumbent civil servants in the same grade.

G25 said the government must no longer delay on doing the necessary financial and economic reforms “no matter how painful they may be”.

“They have no choice but to look at implementing necessary albeit painful reforms to deliver what is due to the people.”