Sat, Feb 25, 2012 - Page 12 News List

Premier vows to push for passage of an energy tax

By Amy Su  /  Staff Reporter

Premier Sean Chen (陳冲) yesterday said the government was working on a draft energy tax in line with President Ma Ying-jeou’s (馬英九) vision of saving energy and cutting carbon emissions.

“I hope legislators will support the bill after the Ministry of Finance finishes drafting the bill and gaining consensus from all quarters,” Chen told reporters after his first presentation at the legislature.

He added, however, that the pace of drafting the bill would depend on the ministry.

Introducing an energy tax has been one of Ma’s major goals since he took office in 2008. However, he failed to carry it out in his first presidential term because of a lack of consensus.

While campaigning for re-election last year, Ma included the energy tax in his vision and plans for a “golden decade” of growth.

Asked about her view on the proposed energy levy, Minister of Finance Christina Liu (劉憶如) said the issue would be included in the discussions of the Cabinet-based task force on financial integrity.

Although the government has yet to impose an energy tax, several fees and charges that have similar objectives to the energy tax have been implemented, she said.

These include the vehicle fuel fee, as well as charges for water and air pollution, the ministry said.

As of last year, revenue from taxes, fees and charges related to energy reached about NT$170 billion (US$5.75 billion) to NT$180 billion, ministry statistics showed.

Last month, then-minister of finance Lee Sush-der (李述德) also said he expected the legislature to prioritize the passing of an energy tax and amending laws related to the implementation of a tax based on the actual selling price of a property.

Lee said imposing an energy tax would help increase energy efficiency.

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