Tue, Jun 24, 2008 - Page 3 News List

Replace economic stimulus plan with tax refunds: DPP

By Ko Shu-ling  /  STAFF REPORTER

Rather than spend vast amounts of taxpayers’ money on its flawed economic stimulus package to increase domestic demand, the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) yesterday urged the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) administration to instead return the money to taxpayers.

DPP Spokesman Cheng Wen-tsang (鄭文燦) said his party agreed yesterday to formulate a plan to refund taxes and subsidize the disadvantaged.

He said they hoped to see the measure pass into law before the legislature goes into recess on July 18.

“Rather than give the money to local governments and financing their vote captains, it would be a much better idea to refund the money to taxpayers and stimulate the economy,” he said.

In a recent poll conducted by the DPP, more than 53 percent of the respondents said they were in favor of tax refunds to the public, while about 40 percent said the money should go to local government construction projects.

Cheng made the remarks after DPP Chairwoman Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) called a weekly meeting to discuss major issues of the week at party headquarters yesterday.

Cheng said that their proposal would enable the administration to divert NT$58 billion (US$1.9 billion) from the economic stimulus plan’s allocation to local governments and give it to taxpayers instead.

He said his party’s proposal also included a subsidy plan for the disadvantaged.

“At a time marked by high commodity prices, wage earners do not see their salaries increasing, while everything becomes more expensive,” he said.

While many countries issue tax refunds as a way to spur domestic consumption, Cheng said the administration’s economic stimulus plan was not the best remedy because it would not necessarily improve economic growth and could actually worsen inflation.

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