KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 28 ― Pengerang MP Datuk Seri Azalina Othman Said said the government could be more creative when implementing taxation to support women and ensure their success in the post-pandemic economy.
In a Malaysia Gender Responsive Budgeting (GRB) Series by the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) today, Azalina said she hopes Budget 2022, which will be tabled tomorrow, takes gender into consideration as part of the broader post-pandemic recovery.
“The strategy for recovery can’t be centred on just the perception that everyone is equal because women and children might need a slightly more sensitive gender-related policy.
“When it comes to GRB, I think there must be creative ways for the government to look at a better tax bracket, tax initiatives, tax deduction, that is basically how the economist looks into it,” she told host Tehmina Kaoosji during the interview which was published on UNFPA Malaysia’s Facebook page.
Azalina then used the analogy of sugar tax and sin tax, which were introduced to encourage healthy habits among the public.
She said one of the suggestions is to give a lower tax bracket to women who work from home so that they can better adjust their daily life and schedule, while also providing for their family and contributing to the country.
“There must be a way, I believe, if you employ more women to work from home by giving them a lower tax bracket.
“Women are more comfortable working from home. They can adjust taking care of their family, adjustment for their work
“This is the one thing the government could look at,” she added.
Azalina also highlighted that local governments should be empowered to address the problems of constituencies as they can better reach vulnerable populations, such as women and children in rural areas.
“One of the positive things about Covid is the ability for countries like ours to look at the decentralisation of government.
“The federal government must be less territorial. They have to understand every country in the world post-pandemic (needs) seven years to recover and when it comes to women, they need extra aid, extra help.
“So decentralisation is making local councils more accountable, more transparent and more participation would really help the women out there in multi-sector challenges,” she said.
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