Fri, Feb 01, 2008 - Page 3 News List

Ma announces his economic policies

SELLING SUBSIDIES KMT presidential candidate Ma Ying-jeou said about 900,000 low income families, or 3.2 million people, would benefit from his tax relief proposal

By Mo Yan-chih  /  STAFF REPORTER

Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) presidential candidate Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) yesterday unveiled his economic policies, proposing a tax relief plan that would include tax refunds for low-income families if he is elected president next month.

Ma promised to include a budget of NT$25 billion (US$700 million) each year for tax refunds to families whose annual income was under NT$480,000.

Families with annual incomes of NT$360,000 or less do not pay tax. Such families would also receive a subsidy that equaled 13 percent of their annual income, or up to NT$46,800, per year under his proposal, Ma said.

Ma said about 900,000 low income families, or 3.2 million people, would benefit from his policy.

Ma said that he would increase the individual taxable income limit from NT$78,000 to NT$100,000, raise taxable educational expenses to NT$25,000 and increase deductible inheritance tax from NT$13 million per household to NT$26 million.

"I will not answer any questions other than on my economic policies. I have stressed the importance for Taiwan that we revive the economy and I believe this is what people want from a presidential candidate," Ma said yesterday during a press conference in Taipei, refusing to comment on his Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) counterpart Frank Hsieh's (謝長廷) challenge over his possession of a US green card.

Insisting on discussing nothing but his tax relief platform, Ma further proposed to decrease the business tax rate from 25 percent to 20 percent, while canceling tax incentives for high-tech industry.

Canceling the tax incentives for the industry, Ma said, would help to increase tax income for the nation and eliminate the unfair taxation systems for different industries.

Ma said high-tech industries only contributed 5.8 percent of the nation's tax income, while traditional businesses were responsible for 14.8 percent.

Rather than encourage high-tech industries, Ma said he planned to give tax incentives to businesses that showed innovation.

Ma also pledged to promote a "green" tax plan, by levying an energy tax to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, cut energy use and aid the environment.

The income from the green tax would be used to subsidize companies for implementing energy saving measures and for public transportation schemes.

The tax policies would cut NT$35 billion from annual tax income, but other economic plans would contribute to the nation's economic growth and therefore increase taxable income, balancing the loss in revenues that the changes would bring, Ma said.

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