How Is The COVID-19 Pandemic Affecting Malaysian Household Income?

The Economic Action Council (EAC) announced that 600,000 M40 households, or at least 8% of Malaysian households, have moved to the B40 category due to the pandemic. This increases the proportion of households earning less than RM 4,850 per month.

According to the latest household income and basic equipment survey report 2019, the classifications of income groups B40, M40 and T20 are as follows:

  • B40: Less than RM4,849
  • M40: 4,850 RM – 10,959 RM
  • T20: 10,960 RM and more

These figures refer to household income (the average household size in 2019 was 3.8 people), not individual income. They are intended to provide a guideline on income disparities in Malaysia, with statistics showing that 40% of Malaysians are low income, 40% in the middle income group and 20% representing the highest household incomes. high.

With the announcement of the EAC, this means that a significant number of middle-income households have seen their incomes fall below RM 4,850.

B40 develops into B50

In February, Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin also said that the B40 group may have expanded to the B50 category and 10% of the T20 group had become middle-income earners.

With more households experiencing declines in income, there have been calls to revise our national income classifications. Last year UMNO MP Datuk Mohamad Alamin pointed out that the last projections B40, M40 and T20 were made before the pandemic, but “maybe B40 is already B60, M40 has already become M20 and so right now. I ask the government to revise this projection, ”he said.

What can you do if you need help?

If you’re struggling to keep up with the cost of living, or if your income has been affected by the pandemic, here are some resources you can turn to.

  • OPI. If you are eligible for Bantuan Prihatin Rakyat (BPR), you can receive cash assistance and other benefits.
  • Help with the moratorium on loans. You may be able to delay or reduce your loan payments by six months.
  • SOCSO. If you have been made redundant, you can receive an allowance or job search assistance from the Social Security Organization (SOCSO).
  • AKPK. If you are having trouble dealing with high interest debt, the Credit Counseling and Debt Management Agency (AKPK) provides free credit counseling services.
  • Welfare. Malaysia’s Department of Social Welfare provides social assistance and other forms of assistance to certain groups, such as single mothers or the elderly.

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