By Chew Lip Song
TWENTY-FIVE opposition MPs have urged the government to implement an automatic loan moratorium and extend the wage subsidy incentive from one month to six.
The MPs from DAP, PKR, Amanah, Warisan, Muda, Pejuang and Parti Sarawak Bersatu said the automatic loan moratorium could remove the anxiety and bureaucracy almost immediately.
“SME and individuals which are not affected can continue with their existing loan repayment.
“Six-months automatic loan moratorium will improve cash flow in the economy hence creating economic activities. Individuals and SMEs will have more cash at their disposal, which in turn will help to improve the bottom line for all businesses, encouraging them to keep and maybe increase employment (instead of cutting jobs) as they work through this pandemic,” the MPs said in a joint statement today.
The MPs want the government to increase the wage programme of RM600 per worker to a higher quantum for those earning below RM4,000 a month. They also want it to be extended to six months, from the current one month.
“The current RM600 subsidy for one month only is insufficient as the aftermath of MCO 2.0 and the Emergency are still in the process of unveiling itself for some sectors.
“Six-months wage subsidy will greatly encourage employers not to resort to cutting jobs and help carry them through half of this year as they face reduced sales and cash flow. For some, it may also encourage them to start recruitment again,” said the MPs.
Describing the pandemic as an “extraordinary time”, they called on the government to do more to save jobs.
“The Perikatan Nasional government has already lost out to our Asean neighbours in their competitiveness to attract foreign investors because of sheer incompetence, inefficiency and political instability. Further denial and stubbornness to do more for the business sector is one more nail in the coffin for our bleeding economy,” the MPs said.
The statement is signed by the following lawmakers: