Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad said it would be difficult to lower taxes and increase subsidies simultaneously, a day before Putrajaya presents its Budget for 2020.
He acknowledged calls for both but said there must be balanced against one another.
“What the people want are lower taxes and increased subsidies, that is contrary.
“You can’t have lower taxes and an increase in subsidies. There must be a balance between the two.
“We will try to lower the taxes, but the government must have money if we are going to give subsidies,” he said.
Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng will table Budget 2020, which is widely expected to be aimed at boosting domestic spending and investment in the face of a gloomy world economy.
Dr Mahathir said the subsidies will not be given to everyone.
“It must be given to the deserving groups of people.
“Even among the B40 (bottom 40) group, there are people who will not need any subsidies.
“We are going into details who will receive the subsidy from the government.
“With regard to taxes we will try to tax the rich more than the poor. That is the principle behind our taxes,” said Dr Mahathir.