Those earning below RM3,000 to get aid in 2012

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asked on Aug 21, 2011 at 18:36
The Star Online > Nation
Published: Sunday August 21, 2011 MYT 4:24:00 PM

Those earning below RM3,000 to get aid in 2012


IPOH: Those who earn RM3,000 and below can expect assistance under Budget 2012 to help cope with the rising cost of living.

Second Finance Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Husni Hanadzlah said the Government had identified three options, which were now being studied by Performance Management & Delivery Unit (Pemandu).

Declining to reveal the options, Ahmad Husni said the study was expected to be completed by next week.

”Pemandu will also perform simulations on the options to ensure it can be implemented efficiently and effectively after it is announced in the budget in October,” he said here on Sunday, adding that the move was to tackle the rising cost of living.

Speaking to reporters after presenting aid from National Welfare Foundation to recipients, Ahmad Husni said the study by Pemandu among others involved the allocation aspect and how the government would fund the initiative.

”In terms of delivery, we also need to ensure that all those earning less than RM3,000 per month are compiled in a database to ensure the initiative reaches the targeted group,” he added.

The ministry, he added, would share Pemandu's report with other ministries for feedback so that the initiative could be implemented smoothly.
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answered on Aug 22, 2011 at 13:09
by   Najib
The Star Online > Nation
Monday August 22, 2011

Boost for low earners


IPOH: Relief is on the way for those earning less than RM3,000 per month with new measures to help ease the rising cost of living in the coming Budget.

Second Finance Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Husni Hanadzlah said the Prime Minister was expected to announce the Government's initiative in the Budget which would be tabled on Oct 7 in Parliament.

“It is the Government's duty to do what it can to help Malaysians affected by rising costs.

“We need to ensure that information on all those earning less than RM3,000 per month is compiled as a database so that the initiative will reach the targeted group,” he said.

He declined to give further details on the initiative, adding that it was for Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak, who is also Finance Minister, to announce it.

He said the Government had identified three options for the initiative, which were currently being studied by Pemandu and expected to be completed by next week.

Pemandu (Performance Management and Delivery Unit) would then propose the best option to be implemented by the Government, Ahmad Husni added.

“Pemandu will perform simulations on the options to ensure that these can be implemented efficiently and effectively after they are announced in the Budget.

“We don't want implementation to become a problem after the announcement, and the result is not as expected,” he told reporters after handing out National Welfare Foundation aid to 688 people here yesterday.

Ahmad Husni, who is also Tambun MP, said the Pemandu study focused among others on the aspect of allocation and funding.

In his 1Malaysia blog, Najib had recently said besides ensuring the country's continued economic development, the Budget would emphasise managing rising living costs and easing the people's burden.

Addressing the cost of living had recently been announced as the Government's seventh National Key Results Area (NKRA) while Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin had said Malaysia might introduce food stamps to cushion the rise in prices.

A consumer expert said although the initiative under the Budget was not known, it would be useful to provide the low and lower-middle income groups with aid on transport to school, allowances for school books and uniforms, and food stamps as a way of alleviating the rising cost of living.
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answered on Aug 24, 2011 at 13:29
by   Hopeful
The Star Online > Nation
Wednesday August 24, 2011

Time to work as one to manage rising cost of living

The Star Says

WE shall soon see new measures to ease the financial burden of Malaysians earning less than RM3,000 a month. After those with lesser incomes had been assisted, this income group will now receive help.

It is a sign of the times that more people are being affected by the rising cost of living. It is also a reflection of the success of poverty-eradication programmes that citizens higher on the income ladder would now be assisted.

However, Malaysians responding to these caring schemes must be ethical and civic-conscious enough to ensure they qualify. Households that do not require such assistance must not abuse the programme and make life harder for those who need it.

The Government has resolved to help more deserving Malaysians meet the demands of their daily expenditure. Malaysians who are more fortunate can help by simply not getting in the way.

Although Malaysia is fortunate compared with several destitute parts of the world, we cannot afford to be sanguine about harder economic times. The global economy is in marked decline, with Europe in the doldrums and the US possibly worse off.

South-East Asia may still be the most economically promising region in the world, but nobody is immune to the maladies of a globalised economy. Even a rising China cannot, much as it may try, escape the whirlpool of a stuttering globalism.

In a world of few certainties, we can at least be sure of three things: worse times may still come, they are larger than we can manage and we will all be affected.

So, we need to keep our guard up, take no chances about our economic fortunes and focus on the realities we need to resolve. We should not be sidetracked by political opportunists loaded with parochial concerns spinning issues to score political points as a general election approaches.

Instead, it is time to pull together because the challenges we face confront the country as a whole. How well we brave these storms bear testimony to our strength as a nation.

Proposed measures to mitigate the tougher times ahead include food stamps. This can be important because food items constitute a significant portion of a household's daily expenditure, particularly for the lower income groups.

Ultimately, the efficacy of any measure depends on its implementation.

A food-stamps programme will need to be planned and executed well from the criteria used to enforcement on the ground.

It can work if enforcement is diligent and consistent, with no loopholes rendering it meaningless or self-defeating. Once such a measure has begun, all efforts must be made to ensure success.

This programme should not have any negative connotations. A country must do what it must. How the programme is perceived depends on how it is presented.

Still, distinctions remain between an essentially stop-gap measure and larger efforts to prime the economy for its next take-off.

In the longer run, the latter will be more decisive, although there are times when every effort will help.
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answered on Aug 26, 2011 at 12:20
The Star Online > Focus
Friday August 26, 2011

Help seniors be independent

THE Government’s initiative to help those earning less than RM3,000 (“Time to work as one to manage rising cost of living” –The Star, Aug 24) is heartening and welcome news, especially for low wage earners with a family to look after. As it is, most are living a hand to mouth existence.

Once RM50 could buy a whole week’s marketing. Today, RM50 can hardly last a day. The cost of essentials, etc, have shot through the ceiling despite government efforts to monitor and control the uptrend.

It is the times, and nothing much can be done, except stinge as much as possible. Even utility rates have gone up tremendously. The cost of travel, too, has risen beyond the means of many.

The Government’s initiative to come up with something to ease the hardship of those earning below RM3,000 is commendable and people caring.

However, there is another group of poor and needy, who are in dire need of government assistance.

They are the senior citizens who are a) not working because, employers do not want to employ them even though they are healthy and want to continue working, or b) re-employed, but on retirees pay, which is hardly enough to pay for their monthly expenses.

Many still have school going children.

True, some have their EPF savings to fall back on, but how long will it last? Most retire with a meagre RM100,00 to RM200,000, some even less and perhaps still saddled with house and/or car instalments to pay, plus daily living for the family and other expenses, etc.

Life is surely tough on such as these. Many have to rely on children who are themselves finding it hard to survive.

Even those on pension find it tough going, what with the continuous uptrend in prices and diminishing purchasing power.

As a senior citizen, I cannot help but highlight difficulties faced by my fellow seniors, and at the same time forward an earnest appeal to the Government to also look into our plight.

Come to our aid as well, create job opportunities for seniors who are still strong, productive and keen to continue working. Help seniors remain useful and financially independent.

Help them to be their own persons, to remain productive and continue contributing to the nation’s growth.

There can be no better time than now to forward this wish list, to call on the Government to include senior citizens in its plans and “rescue mission” or whatever initiatives it is coming up with.

Come up with some plans to encourage companies and employers to give those still able, capable and productive a chance to survive – provide them a job, pay them a decent wage, or provide other survival opportunities

for them to live with financial security.

Life expectancy is much longer now, and seniors need all the help to remain useful so as not to burden others.

Sixty-five today is the 50 of days gone by, when medicine and science were not so advanced.

Aging is a stage everybody must go through. Why not cultivate a culture, create a mechanism, set a trend whereby seniors are given every assistance to survive well, live productively, remain financially independent and be useful for as long as good health permits.

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