PETALING JAYA:The new import tax on steel will cause property prices to rise, further sidelining those who cannot afford to buy houses, says DAP.
The federal opposition party warned that the government’s move to impose a new tax on imported steel products would increase domestic construction costs and lead to higher property prices.
“Property developers will definitely not absorb this newly-imposed import duty but will instead pass on the cost increase to property buyers.
“Ultimately, it will be the property purchasers who will foot the bill for the steel import duty,” DAP said in a joint statement issued by Tronoh assemblyman Paul Yong, Buntong assemblyman Sivasubramaniam and Perak DAP publicity bureau chief Chong Zhemin.
Instead of imposing taxes on imported steel products, DAP said, the government should provide the local steel industry with tax rebates or subsidies.
This would protect the local industry by ensuring that it could maintain competitive prices and prevent property prices from going up, it said.
DAP was responding to Second Finance Minister Johari Abdul Ghani, who said yesterday that the new taxes were meant to protect local players.
“The government’s new steel import tax will instead make the current stagnant property market worse and house ownership even more difficult for young people hunting for their first home,” the party said.
It urged the government to immediately withdraw the steel import tax, reminding it of its pledge in the last general election manifesto to provide affordable and secure housing.
“The imposition of new import duty on steel shows that Barisan Nasional has betrayed its election manifesto and the people’s trust.”