Vice president-elect Vincent Siew (蕭萬長) condemned the government for freezing gasoline and utility prices and forcing the poor to share the cost of those who consume more petroleum and said the new administration will adopt a different fuel policy after May 20.
Siew’s remarks echoed those of premier-designate Liu Chao-shiuan’s (劉兆玄) comments made in an interview on Thursday that the new administration would raise fuel prices immediately after taking office.
“On the surface, everyone enjoyed low gasoline and utility prices, but actually the policy benefited those who consume more petroleum. Such a measure is against social justice and it’s unfair,” Siew said yesterday when addressing an economic forum at Taipei International Convention Center.
Utility prices have been frozen since November last year, despite the rise in international crude oil prices, and the Cabinet said it would maintain the price freeze until it hands over power to the new government.
Siew promised to carry out a comprehensive social welfare policy, and give subsidies to low-income families in response to the upcoming gas and utility price hike.
The vice president-elect said that economic growth would not be the only goal of the new administration, as the nation was already a mature economic entity, adding that seeking social justice and substantial development would also be priorities while the new administration carries out its economic policies.
Siew promised to narrow the income gap between the rich and the poor by reviewing the tax policy.
Under president-elect Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) and Siews’ economic platform, the new administration will introduce a tax relief plan that would include tax refunds for low-income 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 equals 13 percent of their annual income, or up to NT$46,800, per year under his proposal.
Siew said the new government would also encourage companies to create their own brands and cultivate talent, and would attract international companies to invest in local businesses in Taiwan.
FOSSIL CLUES: The bushfires resulted from a positive Indian Ocean dipole event, when the region east of the ocean becomes drier, professor Shen Chuan-chou said The bushfires that swept through Australia last year were connected to a phenomenon known as the Indian Ocean dipole (IOD), which is expected to become more frequent due to climate change, a geologist studying coral fossils said yesterday. National Taiwan University Department of Geosciences professor Shen Chuan-chou (沈川洲) since 2001 has been working with Australian and US researchers to study climate systems in the Indian Ocean. Led by Australian National University Research School of Earth Sciences professor Nerilie Abram, the team published a paper on IOD in the journal Nature on March 9. The bushfires resulted from a positive IOD event, when the
Senior judges yesterday met to discuss the constitutionality of a law that makes adultery a criminal offense, before being ordered by Judicial Yuan President Hsu Tzong-li (許宗力) to set a date for a constitutional interpretation within the next month. The judges met to discuss Article 239 of the Criminal Code on offenses against marriage and family, after 18 judges had called for a constitutional interpretation of the issue. Taipei District Court Judge Lin Meng-huang (林孟皇) said that while he had previously tried adultery cases and never questioned the law, his feelings changed when trying a case last year involving baseball star Wang
Instead of hating the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT), help change it, KMT Chairman Johnny Chiang (江啟臣) said, as he urged young people to join efforts to reform the party. As the nation marked Youth Day on Sunday, Chiang said in a Facebook post that he wanted to remind people that “the KMT used to be very young.” Now, when people think of the KMT, they equate it with older people, he wrote. “Even if [the KMT] is a 100-year-old party, it must maintain a young mentality, and understand what young people want and what they want the KMT to do,” Chiang wrote.
A survey has found that 37.3 percent of transgender people in the nation have experienced gender-related discrimination or bullying in the workplace, the Taiwan Alliance to Promote Civil Partnership Rights said yesterday. The alliance’s survey showed that 55.41 percent of transgender people said that they had been afraid to use a public restroom, 18.53 percent had been harassed or attacked in public, while 15.83 percent had been afraid to ask a police officer or other professional for help. The survey, conducted from March 14 to Wednesday last week, was based on 518 valid responses from transgender people aged 14 to 78, the