COVID-19 drove M40 and T20 households into lower income brackets, says Rafizi

ECONOMY Minister Rafizi Ramli revealed in a written parliamentary reply yesterday (March 17) that about 20% of M40 households have been pushed to the B40 group, while 12.8% of T20 households have moved down to the M40 group due to COVID-19.

This was in response to Padang Serai MP Datuk Azman Nasrudin, who had requested data on households transferring to other income levels and what initiatives the government had taken to reduce the rising cost of living.

Besides, the Statistics Department of Malaysia (DOSM) conducted a simulation study in 2020 to examine the effect of the pandemic on household income.

B40 is the lowest 40% income household group, which includes 2.91 million households and has a monthly income of less than RM4,850 while 2.91 million households make up the M40 group of households, which has an income range of RM4,850 to RM10,959 per month.

T20, which includes 1.46 million households and comprises those with a monthly income of at least RM10,960, is the group of households with the highest 20% income.

“The government through DOSM is also currently finalising the findings of the Income, Expenditure and Basic Facilities Survey 2022 involving 92,000 households, starting from Jan 2022 to Dec 2022.

“The income limits for each income group will be updated through this study, which is expected to be published in the middle of this year,” said the Pandan MP.

Moreover, he added that the government has made a number of efforts to lessen the effects of the public’s rising cost of living.

The efforts included monetary help and subsidies, which were announced by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim in the re-tabled Budget 2023.

Furthermore, the Economy Ministry is implementing the Inisiatif Pendapatan Rakyat (IPR), which will concentrate on raising the B40 group’s economic potential nationally, according to Rafizi.

The IPR programme will begin with three initiatives: agriculture contracts, food businesses, and public premises cleaning services. During the 24-hour monitoring period, participants are expected to earn between RM2,000 and RM2,500 per month.— March 17, 2023


Main photo credit: Astro Awani

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