Sun, Jun 08, 2008 - Page 3 News List

DPP’s Hsieh slams KMT economic policies

by Shih Hsiu-Chuan  /  STAFF REPORTER

Warning that the new Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) administration’s economic policies could result in industries exiting the nation, former Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) chairman Frank Hsieh (謝長廷) yesterday slammed the government for failing to take care of underprivileged people.

“The KMT government didn’t put itself in the people’s shoes from the middle and lower social strata when mapping out economic policies,” Hsieh said.

On May 28, the government raised unleaded fuel prices by 13 percent and diesel by 16 percent late last month and planned to elevate electricity prices next month and in November, ending the six-month freeze on utilities the former DPP government imposed last December.

Hsieh said yesterday that “it’s up to the government” whether it subsidizes the losses from state-owned CPC Corp, Taiwan (台灣中油) because of international oil price hikes or mass transportation after domestic oil prices were increased, a measure the KMT government adopted.

“With the idea of helping lower middle class, salaried class, farmers and young people in mind, the government wouldn’t have raised fuel prices,” Hsieh said.

Hsieh said that the steep increase in utilities prices would cause more Chinese products to be imported into the country and would discourage China-based Taiwanese firms from returning to Taiwan in view of increasing investment costs.

“This would also prompt students to study in China, which would then bring pressure on the government for Taiwan to recognize diplomas issued by the Chinese government,” he said.

Alluding to Ma’s campaign in which he proposed a “6-3-3 policy” — 6 percent economic growth, 3 percent unemployment and 3 percent inflation and the “i-Taiwan 12 infrastructure project,” Hsieh said the public might feel they are being fooled by President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) as the government recently said it won’t be able to achieve the economic goals this year.

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