The Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) legislative caucus yesterday said Premier Liu Chao-shiuan's (劉兆玄) proposal to lower estate and gift tax, business income tax and commodity tax would exacerbate the nation's rich-poor gap.
“Liu’s pledge to cut these taxes will only help those who are already rich avoid paying taxes as much as possible. The policy will not help the middle class,” DPP legislative caucus whip Chang Hwa-kuan (張花冠) told a press conference yesterday morning.
Chang said Liu should rather increase taxes for the rich and cut taxes for the poor, which would relieve their burden.
“I do not understand what he [Liu] is thinking. His policy is not helpful at all,” Chang said. “The three taxes that Liu is planning to lower will definitely widen the gap between the rich and the poor.”
In defense of the proposal, Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) caucus whip Chang Sho-wen (張碩文) said yesterday that the Cabinet’s tax reforms were designed to keep capital in Taiwan and that the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) should first try to understand what the government is doing before it criticizes its proposals.
Chang said in an interview with the Central News Agency that lowering inheritance tax was a good idea because it would prevent businesspeople from transferring their capital and assets to foreign countries to avoid paying taxes.
He said that the DPP caucus perhaps did not understand the spirit of the proposal and that its criticism was absolutely groundless.
Chang said that he could forgive the DPP for its ignorance but that the party should not mislead the public.
Before going public with their criticism, DPP legislators should make sure they understand the issues behind a proposal, he said.
ADDITIONAL REPORTING BY CNA