From empowering women to be their own girlbosses to helping unemployed Malaysians in the job market, Budget 2022 had the biggest package so far with RM332.1 billion. Though the government takes pride in its extended list of incentives and financial aid, is it really as generous as it sounds?
After one whole year of financial assistance, here’s how much Budget 2022 actually impacted our lives:
1. Rebuilt our lives post-MCO
One too many Malaysians lost their livelihood to the various iterations of MCO, though it was necessary for everyone’s safety. With this in mind, the government outlined several financial aid programmes in Budget 2022 to give everyone the support that they deserve.
Hustling our way back to the top!
Thanks to the JaminKerja (Jamin Kerja Keluarga Malaysia)-MyStep initiative, a whopping 11,703 Malaysians successfully found jobs in the private and public sectors, and government-linked companies (GLCs)! The JaminKerja initiative, in particular, offered hiring incentives that encouraged employers to hire more workers, while MySTEP (Short-Term Employment Programme) let Malaysians seek out – you guessed it! – short-term employment (a.k.a. contract jobs) to gain income too.
Furthermore, Budget 2022 helped 3,503 locals to upgrade their qualifications or switch to better careers, courtesy of the National Dual Training System (SLDN) Upskilling and Reskilling programmes! Better still that they enjoyed more tax relief for their training course expenses, up to RM7,000!
Overall, it looks like Budget 2022’s efforts in the employment sector were a success, lowering the unemployment rate from 5.3% (as of May 2020) to 3.7% today! How cool is that?
Giving us the support we needed to recover
The Bantuan Keluarga Malaysia (BKM) financial aid, which aims to support eligible low-income locals, helped over 8.6 million Malaysians with a RM7.15 billion package! Local households were given up to RM2,000 based on family size and relationship status, which were undoubtedly helpful for those who sorely needed it.
In addition to that, the ePemula programme credited RM266.03 million to 1.7 million youths’ e-wallet accounts and lightened the burden on youth’s expenses! Some companies even gave added value when youths used their e-wallet for ePemula, like the RM500 bonus vouchers.
2. Brought local businesses back to the forefront
Before the current recovery stage, most large and small businesses across the country were suffering from the pandemic too, resulting in poor job market conditions. But lo and behold, local businesses stood to benefit from Budget 2022’s plethora of financial aids as well!
The PEMULIH Government Guarantee Scheme (PGGS), spearheaded by Syarikat Jaminan Pembiayaan Perniagaan (SJPP), provided monetary assistance worth RM1.74 billion to 3,807 businesses nationwide to revitalise their business! This applies to:
- New financing
- Restructuring of current financing facilities
- Further funding of working capital
The JaminKerja initiative comes into play here too, incentivising businesses to make new hires with up to RM28.8 million in incentives. Aside from general working adults, they even included fresh grads and vulnerable groups (i.e. disabled, ex-convicts, senior citizens, orang asli), which is pretty awesome.
As for those operating in the tourism and related sectors who were hit hardest during MCO (with a 30% decrease or more in total sales/revenue), they benefitted greatly from the Targeted Wage Subsidy Programme (PSU5.0), with wage subsidies worth RM210.19 million that helped 119,813 employees and 7,928 employers!
Let’s not forget the little guys comprising SMEs and Micro-SMEs who were affected too, with 64,223 hawkers and small traders supported by the Micro Financing Program worth RM1.44 billion! Moreover, the SME Digitisation Grant Scheme allocated RM38.61 million to help small businesses gain relevance in the digitised world and increase sales.
3. Stabilised our nation’s economy
Most importantly, Budget 2022 not only maintained the state of Malaysia’s economy, but also improved it! 🥳 Did you know our economy actually grew in THREE consecutive quarters, with Q4 2021’s economy at 3.6% growing to 8.9% as of Q2 2022? Even our value of wholesale and retail trade up until July grew an astounding 41% to RM130.7 billion!
As the cherry on top, despite the ongoing state of the world, the inflation rate in Malaysia has been maintained steadily at 2.8% for the first seven months of 2022 – that’s not good news, it’s GREAT news! 😍
Sounds like it did pretty well! Will Budget 2023 be able to hold a candle to it? 🤔
We as a nation have achieved many successes, from the uncertain times of 2020 all the way to the recovery stage of 2022. However, it’s not yet time to rest our laurels, especially when we’re still in the midst of recovering in an uncertain world. We shouldn’t worry too much though, because the government will soon be tabling Budget 2023!
Budget 2023 will serve as a continuation of the government’s efforts to restore and stabilize Malaysia’s economy, by meeting the needs of the people and businesses, as well as driving sustainable socio-economic growth through the three R’s:
a) RESPONSIVE to the needs and challenges of citizens
- Focus on overcoming issues like job creation, raising incomes, strengthening social security & improving our socio-economic well-being.
b) RESPONSIBLE actions and reforms
- Build on the country’s resilience against global economic uncertainties.
c) Breathe life into the vision and REFORMIST objectives of the Government
- Drive sustainable development models & address structural issues (wealth and digital divide), as well as support sustainable socio-economic development.
- Encourage the application of environmental, social, and governance (ESG) principles.
These key focuses look like a good start!
We can’t wait to find out what new initiatives will be introduced by Budget 2023 when it’s tabled on 7 October! Be sure to keep an eye on https://budget.mof.gov.my to uncover the full list of aids by the government.
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