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Monad International | BUDGET 2023 AND YOU
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By Kimberly Law, CFP, IFP

The revised budget definitely looks more beneficial to the country and citizens.

The budget is encouraging the citizens to increase savings and investments through ASB and ASB2 by increasing from RM200,000 to RM300,000. It’s good to encourage people to save more in their accounts. A selected number of EPF members also benefit the additional RM500 incentive into their EPF account. It is a temporary help those struggling with insufficient retirement funds.

The M40 group is given the opportunity to save more in tax for their future. People need to take advantage of their tax savings and put it in good use, for example putting it aside for future retirement and savings.

On the other hand, the higher income earners will need to pay more tax. We need to view this as a way to help the country and its citizens, not as a punishment for earning above a certain amount. The introduction of luxury goods tax may not be a bad thing as these items are non-necessities. It discourages to spend things you don’t need especially if you’re financially constrained.

The personal income tax reliefs are much more beneficial to the people especially the increased amount for medical treatments expenses. The scope of this tax relief is definitely wider and much clearer. It clearly helps those in need.

The budget clearer helps those SME owners to reduced the chargeable income for the first RM150,000. This will help with business cashflow and those young entrepreneurs out there.

Those repaying PTPTN loan should take advantage within the next 3 months to increase their repayment because they will benefit the additional 20% discount. For those who can afford to fully or partially clear PPTTN loan, they can consider to settling it starting March 1st onward.

I strongly support Consumer Credit Act being set up to tackle companies with Buy Now Pay Later services as it can be very damaging to personal finance if wrong used. The primary purpose of this service is not to save but help you spend more conveniently. It can also encourage users to spend money they don’t have just like a credit card but it’s online. The users of this service need to be aware of the additional charges if there is any late or missed payment. It is alarming because there are too many of these services popping up and attracting people to use it. Having an oversight board to help regulate and protect the people is essential.

*Kimberly Law is a licensed financial planner and also certified member of FPAM.

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