Consistency was missing from Budget 2015 speech

Kuala Lumpur, 10 October, 2014 – It is refreshing to see that Prime Minister Najib Razak emphasised all the good economic principles at the beginning of his Budget 2015 speech.  His emphasis on the need to balance the budget, reduce fiscal deficit, and reuce subsidy spending is very much needed, and must be applauded.  To that end, the recent petrol subsidy reduction is commendable.

However it is disappointing that Najib used the wrong rhetorics in the second half of his speech.  A principled government will ensure consistency in its messaging.  This Budget speech is not consistent in the sense that it started with trying to persuade the public on the need to reform our fiscal structures, but it went on to announce various spending “splurges”, with multiple populist subsidies and handouts.  The firs half talks about the need to be austere, but the second half is full with populist spending.

I feel the government is very much aware of the need for austerity measures and the Prime Minister clearly alluded to that. Unfortunately the Prime Minister missed a big opportunity to educate the public on the why austerity is necessary.

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