Malaysia Budget 2024 Highlights

Today, Prime Minister and Finance Minister, Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim, presented Budget 2024 in the Dewan Rakyat. This year's budget, themed "Economic Reform, Empowering People," allocates a total of RM393.8 billion, with RM303.8 billion designated for operating expenses and RM90 billion for development spending. An additional RM2 billion is set aside as contingency savings. This marks the second budget presented by Anwar since the formation of the Unity Government in November 2022.

1. Service Tax Increase: Service tax will rise from 6% to 8%, impacting industries like logistics, brokerage, and karaoke. Food and beverage and telecommunication sectors are exempt.

2. Luxury Tax: A new 5% to 10% tax will be imposed on certain high-value items like jewellery and watches, excluding those purchased by tourists.

3. Civil Servant Quarters Improvement: RM2.4 billion allocated for building, maintaining, and repairing quarters for various government personnel.

4. Public Toilet Maintenance: RM150 million dedicated to maintaining and repairing public toilets nationwide, including those in schools.

5. Entertainment Tax Reduction: Reduced entertainment tax for performances in Kuala Lumpur. Local artists exempt, international artists and certain events taxed at 10%.

6. Flood Mitigation: RM20 million for repairing drainage systems and RM300 million to the National Disaster Management Agency for flood prevention.

7. Road and Bridge Maintenance: RM2.8 billion allocated for road and bridge maintenance, with a focus on supporting G1-G4 contractors and replacing traffic lights with energy-saving LEDs.

8. Tourism Boost: RM350 million to promote tourism activities for Visit Malaysia 2026, with additional funds for state governments to maintain tourist attractions.

9. Increased Cash Aid: 700,000 individuals under the Sumbangan Tunai Rahmah program will receive RM100 monthly for a year.

10. Flexible EPF Account: EPF to establish a new account allowing members to withdraw funds at any time, aiming to empower them to manage their retirement savings.

11. PTPTN Loan Repayment Discount: Discounts offered for settling PTPTN loans: 10% for full payment, 10% for paying 50% or more of remaining debt, and 15% for salary deduction or direct debit payments.

As a working mom of four, Budget 2024 has some aspects that affect me directly and others that might have a ripple effect on our household. While the extra cash aid wouldn't apply to our family, the cheaper entertainment tax might finally mean we can catch a movie as a family without breaking the bank, right? 

On the flip side, the service tax increase might affect the cost of everyday services we rely on, impacting our budget in the long run. I'm also concerned about the potential price hikes in tourism as it could limit our options for family vacations.

So, all in all, some parts of the budget are helpful, while others might make things a bit tougher for our family finances. I'm keeping an eye on these changes and will have to adjust our budget accordingly, will have to tighten our belts a bit, if needed. Gotta stay informed and roll with the punches, right? 

Nevertheless, we gotta be grateful and positive about the year ahead, right? Gotta double (or triple?) down on our hustle, boost our family's income, and stay positive and hopeful for the future. Time to dust off those baking skills and maybe the kids can help sell some cookies . Kidding.

What do you think of the budget changes? Any tips for managing a family budget with rising costs? For more info on Malaysia Budget 2024, click here: Belanjawan 2024.