Sun, Jun 12, 2005 - Page 3 News List

COA lauds fisherman, farmer-friendly tax plan

EASING THE BURDEN The government's plan to reduce taxes on agricultural products in the future will help the nation's food producers, the agriculture minister said

CNA , TAIPEI

Council of Agriculture Minister Lee Chin-lung (李金龍) yesterday welcomed the premier's announcement Friday that the business tax on household, medical and agricultural products will be reduced in the future.

Lee said that the council will be happy to see the proposed tax cut implemented, saying it will not only lower the burden of taxation on farmers and fishermen, but also encourage consumers to purchase domestically-produced farm goods.

Premier Frank Hsieh (謝長廷) announced the policy after he ordered the formation of a special task force June 5 to flesh out tax reform measures in line with President Shui-bian's (陳水扁) directives for taxation reform last week.

Hsieh also said that some of the items in the three major categories will not be subject to business taxation in order to help disadvantaged people.

Lee noted that the tax cut will help farmers and fishermen, whose earnings are normally less than those employed in other sectors.

Meanwhile, David Huang (黃適卓), the convener of the legislative caucus of the Taiwan Solidarity Union, praised the new policy as the right way to go, saying that taxes on items concerning people's basic needs should be lowered, while those on luxury or other consumer products should be hiked to properly reflect economic growth.

Huang added that all details concerning the tax reform plan should be put on the table to allow relevant parties to discuss them and give their input. A national consensus on the tax reform proposals is definitely needed before the government implements them, he said.

At the Democratic Progressive Party's caucus office at the Legislative Yuan, a party whip, Chen Chin-jun (陳景峻), urged the public to "have a healthier attitude" toward the government's tax reform proposals, which include raising the national tax rate to 15 percent from the current 13.6 percent, as well as hiking business tax rates and those of some other categories.

Many critics misinterpreted the proposal as an across-the-board tax hike.

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