KOTA KINABALU: Sabah Barisan Nasional (BN) regrets that Pakatan Rakyat (PR) has not included the costs of some of its policies that it will implement if it is given the mandate to form the government.
“We regret that Pakatan has announced huge policies but not the economic impact to its government,” Sabah BN secretary Datuk Abdul Rahman Dahlan told a press conference which was also attended by representatives from the coalition member parties.
“By omitting to inform the people of the economic impact, the opposition coalition is cheating the people, especially those in Sabah,” the Kota Belud member of parliament said.
Abdul Rahman said Sabah BN had come up with facts and figures which would be used to compare BN’s 2013 budget with Pakatan’s alternative.
“The statistics were obtained from the finance ministry’s tax analysis unit and information can be referred to the relevant authorities for confirmation,” he said.
“We are showing the facts in reply to the opposition’s accusations that the Sabah is not getting much back from its oil revenue,” he stressed.
Abdul Rahman pointed out that BN’s management expenditure in the 2013 Budget announced by Prime Minister cum Finance Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak was RM201.9 billion, while for Pakatan’s alternative budget was RM185.3 billion.
There are however management expenditure components that were not included in the alternative budget as they would inflate expenditure, resulting in a bad deficit for the country should Pakatan form the government, he said.
The components omitted were RM2.6 billion emolument for civil servants and Pakatan’s estimation was based on the salary scale in 2010/2011. The BN government has reviewed the salaries and there are increments for government staff.
The review had increased emolument to RM2.6 billion and this was omitted in Pakatan’s alternative budget, he said, adding that if the opposition did not include this expense in its budget, it may have to reduce the civil service by 72,000 personnel.
“The other component omitted is the bonus for the elderly which is one of Pakatan Rakyat’s main policies, and is expected to cost RM2.8 billion. Another one of Pakatan’s promises is to reduce the price of vehicles in Malaysia and if this in successful, there will be more vehicles on the road.
“This in turn means that the fuel subsidy has to be increased to cater to the needs of motorists. The fuel subsidy and other subsidies for the people which Pakatan did not include in its budget totals to RM7.7 billion,” he said.
“Another Pakatan policy is to abolish toll in Peninsular Malaysia and to do this, the Pakatan government will have to pay RM6 billion in compensation to the concessionaires but the allocation for this had not been included in its 2013 budget,” he said.
“Pakatan has also promised to abolish the PTPTN loans but when we look at the budget, the PTPTN cost of about RM7 billion was also omitted,” he said, adding that the promise to reduce the price of fuel buy 20 sen would cost the government RM4.2 billion.
“So after doing the maths, we came to the conclusion that the Pakatan budget will be a deficit of RM76.7 billion and this is the amount that Pakatan Rakyat will have to borrow to get by in 2013.
“The amount is needed to pay for all the promises made in its alternative budget and for the first time in Malaysia’s history, the Pakatan Rakyat government will have to borrow money to pay for the federal government’s management expenditure.
“All this while, although the BN government has taken loans to maintain our budget, we have never spent more than the country’s revenue to manage the country. We don’t borrow money to pay salary in this country — we only borrow money to develop this country — build roads, universities and hospitals because all these infrastructures are huge future investments for the country.
“Never in the history of this country have we borrowed money to pay salaries of the civil service, but in Pakatan Rakyat, it will be the first time that the government will have to take out a loan of RM27.7 billion to pay for its management expenditure should Pakatan Rakyat follow through with its budget,” he stressed.
He also said that the country’s deficit would increase to 7.2 per cent while the country’s debt to GDP ratio would increase to 57.8 per cent.
“This will mean that the country’s debt will be contradicting the agreement that the federal government’s loan must never be more than 55 per cent of its GDP,” he said.
“We have been maintaining all this while and we will be at our maximum at 54.1 per cent in 2013, but the figure is expected to drop in the coming years,” Abdul Rahman disclosed.