KUALA LUMPUR: The government is mulling a proposal to top up salaries of singles, particularly youth in the B40 group, if they are hired by private companies.
This is a way to encourage employment and ensure that employees get higher take-home pay, Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng said yesterday.
If the proposal is put in place, these individuals will no longer get the RM100 given under the one-off Cost of Living Aid (BSH).
However the programme, to be known as the “income supplement scheme”, will be subject to the government’s financial capabilities.
“We want to address the (low income) issue by cooperating with the private sector. If an individual is hired by a company, we will see if we can allocate some money to supplement his income,” Lim told the Dewan Rakyat.
If implemented, the scheme would also encourage economic growth, he said.
“We hope this will encourage the private sector to hire more people from (the B40 group),” he added in response to a question from Datuk Seri Ikmal Hisham Abdul Aziz (PH-Tanah Merah) on whether or not the government planned to get various agencies to help singles generate sufficient income instead of relying on the BSH.
On Feb 19, the government announced that singles would once again be eligible for the BSH aid. About three million Malaysians are eligible for the aid when the next payment is made next Thursday (March 28).
However, Lim said similar payouts for singles would only be made later this year or in the future if the financial capability of the government permitted it.
“The final decision will be made by the cabinet,” he said.
“We are restricted by financial constraints and have to look for additional sources of income so we can give out BSH aid to singles without disrupting the country’s administration,” he said.