Owners of recycling businesses yesterday had a heated exchange with Vice Minister of Finance Lee Ruey-tsang (李瑞倉) over receipts for collecting recyclable material in the legislature, prompting the police to intervene to end the dispute.
The controversy stems from the Ministry of Finance's policy that recycling companies ask for receipts when they collect recyclable material -- a practice that the recyclers consider impractical.
"It's absurd to think that people who give us their stuffs for recycling will also give us a receipt at the same time. We have therefore been forced to use other methods to obtain false receipts," said Wu Chao-chih (
Recycling companies found to have obtained false receipts are fined heavily by the ministry, which accuse them of intentionally evading taxes by asking for receipts from other sources.
"In accordance with ministry regulations, the receipts should include the recyclingproviders' name, address, identification number and signature. It's impossible for the businesses to do so," Wu said.
In the middle of the press conference, Lee, who was not invited to attend the meeting, showed up unexpectedly in the hope of negotiating with the recyclers.
However, when Lee entered the venue, the recycling merchants quickly surrounded him and demanded that he leave the office.
The businesspeople said that as MOF officials had refused to talk to them to help them find a solution to the problem, they wouldn't welcome Lee.
"What you officials did was to send tax inspectors to issue tickets and fine us," a businessman said.
While Lee promised that the government was willing to solve the problem, the merchants said that they would take to the streets next Wednesday.