Thu, Nov 25, 2004 - Page 3 News List

Pan-purple alliance puts focus on tax, social issues

TAIPEI , CNA

The pan-purple alliance, a private group dedicated to promoting fair and just social welfare services and speaking for the underprivileged, unveiled a list of lawmakers yesterday who it claims support tax cuts for the rich.

Chien Hsi-chieh, convener of the alliance, unveiled the list at a news conference yesterday that was dubbed "Beware! Look Who Is Undermining Our National Finances."

Over the past 10 years, Chien said, the nation's financial status has continued to worsen, with the ratio of tax revenues to GDP declining from 18.6 percent to 12.3 percent. As tax revenues have decreased by NT$700 billion over the past decade, Chien said, the government has had to sell land holdings and stocks, as well as float state bonds, to make ends meet.

Ignoring the government's financial straits, the Legislative Yuan has passed revisions to three major bills that "would allow business corporations and wealthy families to evade taxes with legal protection," Chien said.

The three bills refer to packages of revisions to the statute on promoting industrial upgrading, the statute on land value increment tax and the inheritance and gift tax law.

In the run-up to the Dec. 11 legislative elections, Chien said, candidates of different political stripes are gearing up to canvass votes. However, he said, few candidates have paid attention to issues related to people's livelihoods, such as government finances and welfare services for the underprivileged.

Chien said the pan-purple alliance has consequently decided to unveil the list of legislators who initiated the above-mentioned three bills and are seeking re-election in the upcoming vote.

The lawmakers come from across the political spectrum, Chien said, adding that the move should serve as a warning to those legislators.

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