Cuepacs, the country’s top umbrella union for civil servants, has denied claims that Putrajaya will slash civil servants' allowances ahead of Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak plans to unveil a recalibrated Budget 2016 on Thursday.Cuepacs president Datuk Azih Muda said the government had not informed the congress of any move to adjust their allowances or salaries, nor had they been summoned to discuss it
"Cuepacs denies this (the allowance slash). We were never informed of this and there were no discussions, whether at the congress or the government level."We completely deny the speculation in the media on civil servants' allowances being withdrawn, salaries being reduced, and promotions being postponed. "Those are all untrue. The government will not touch the civil service," Azih told The Malaysian Insider today.
Over the past week, a news report had been widely circulated on social media, especially via the Whatsapp mobile messaging service, stating that Putrajaya was slashing the budgets of civil servants from among the management and professional groups.
However, the news report was a screenshot (see below) of an Utusan Malaysia online report dated January 7, 1998, with the headline "Kerajaan potong elaun – 80,000 kakitangan awam dan kumpulan profesional terlibat" (Government cuts allowances – 80,000 civil servants and professional groups affected).
Early last month, Datuk Seri Najib Razak announced that Budget 2016 would be recalibrated in light of global economic uncertainty and the fall in crude oil prices, which has affected the country's revenue.Budget 2016 was tabled when oil was US$48 per barrel. The price has now fallen to below US$33 per barrel, hitting a low of US$28 last week. Commenting on the issue, Azih said that while the government appeared to be under pressure by the falling oil prices, the goods and services tax (GST) was helping the country weather the storm.
"The tax has helped the government in its administration. Even if Petronas was affected, it's not like the government gets billions of ringgit from Petronas. It has other sources."Besides GST, the rise in tourists due to the decreasing currency value will also bring revenue to the government," said Azih.
He also assured that the RM250 payment scheme for public servants, which Cuepacs had previously fought for, would be maintained in the revised Budget 2016."The government has agreed that every month civil servants will receive a service scheme of RM250. It has promised that the scheme will be continued."We thank the government for not cancelling the scheme. If it had, we would have been informed much earlier."
He said the government had also promised to implement Cuepacs's other demands, such as raising civil servants' salaries and the minimum wage, as announced in the Budget 2016 speech last October. – January 25, 2016.