KUALA LUMPUR, June 3 — The government would focus on facilitating employment, re-employment, and social protection, especially among the self-employed and informal sector workers, as well as targeted assistance to provide the optimum social safety net for vulnerable groups without compromising its fiscal position.
According to the 2023 Pre-Budget Statement issued by the Ministry of Finance (MOF) today, Budget 2023 would provide a specific focus on facilitating employment or re-employment of segments particularly, unemployed graduates, women who left the labour market, persons with disabilities (PwD) and the long-term unemployed.
“Interventions will include reskilling in line with sectoral demands and jobs according to localities. Increasing the female labour force participation rate will require interventions including facilitating access to quality and affordable childcare,” the statement said.
In an effort to reduce the financial burden of the people, the provision of direct cash assistance to vulnerable groups would be also enhanced and more targeted in next year’s Budget, especially to the elderly, school students, PwD, indigenous people and single mothers. Meanwhile, Budget 2023 would also focus on continuing the upskilling and reskilling programmes, enhancing productivity through the digitalisation of economic activities and ensuring a decent wage among citizens including through a revision in the minimum wage.
In order to provide access to quality housing, education, healthcare, security and transportation, Education and Health Ministries would continue to be the recipients of the largest operating expenditure.
The MOF said it reflects the importance given to universal access to quality education and healthcare with increased emphasis on educating talent to be future-ready and focusing on preventative healthcare in the context of non-communicable diseases (NCDs).
The government would also engage with various stakeholders to explore ways to implement more targeted assistance in the 2023 Budget, particularly, cash assistance programmes, as well as fuel subsidies, which would be improved via more effective distribution mechanisms.
The 2023 Budget will also focus on ensuring the security of essential foods at reasonable prices.
“The government will continue to intervene where necessary to mitigate sharp rises in the price of essential goods while ensuring the Government’s resources are spent on those who truly need it through targeted subsidies,” the MOF said.
According to the statement, the Tourism Recovery Plan (TRP) 2022 would be gradually expanded in 2023 to include Air Transport Clusters and Accommodation Clusters to revitalise the tourism industry as well as restore tourist confidence in a given destination.
“Recovery measures will be targeted to cater to the needs of tourists, including higher demands for improved safety and hygiene measures. These include providing better quality products and services, enhancing the sustainability of tourism products, strengthening brand positioning and promotion, instituting governance reforms and intensifying domestic tourism,” it said.
The government launched TRP 2022 last April to increase the mobility of Malaysians to travel and spend by offering discounts, vouchers and rebates involving two clusters namely the Land Transport Cluster and the Tourism Association Cluster. — Bernama