• YB Wong Chen

Wage Subsidy Scheme - Increase Welcomed, but Is it Sufficient?

Posted on Facebook, 6 April 2020 at 18:31 I welcome the prime minister’s announcement on increasing the wage subsidy scheme. However, until more economic data is disclosed, I am not sure if it will be sufficient. There is also a glaring lack of wage support for middle class workers above RM4,000. In my opinion, the wage subsidy must support all workers earning below RM6,000 a month.

The wage subsidy issue is something that I have highlighted and stressed on since the announcement of the RM20 billion stimulus package on 27th March. It is good that the government is at least willing to listen to our constructive criticisms, study the data and then implement the necessary changes.

The wage subsidy will be increased from RM5.9 billion to RM13.8 billion. This is a 3 months scheme, designed to protect employment. This scheme is for all employees with a salary of RM4,000 a month and below. Participating companies are not allowed to sack their employees. The subsidy rate will range from RM600 to RM1,200, depending on the size of the workforce.

My initial reaction is better late than never, but I do have questions on whether this increase is comprehensive enough. In my posting on 4th April, I highlighted that we must contain unemployment below 10%; will this achieve that target? I will also continue to ask for greater economic data transparency.