Sat, Jan 24, 2009 - Page 4 News List

DPP proposes nationwide food voucher plan

By Jimmy Chuang  /  STAFF REPORTER

Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) legislators yesterday said that the nation’s unemployment rate was too high, while DPP headquarters proposed issuing “food vouchers” nationwide to help low-income families.

“Most people are happy about receiving consumer vouchers. But, many others are struggling to make ends meet after losing their jobs,” DPP Legislator David Huang (黃偉哲) said.

At a press conference yesterday morning, Huang presented statistics from the Cabinet’s Directorate-General of Budget, Accounting and Statistics (DGBAS), which said that the unemployment rate for last month reached 5.03 percent, meaning 549,000 Taiwanese people were out of work.

He also displayed results of research that showed the unemployment rate for the same period in Singapore was 2.2 percent, 3.3 percent in South Korea, 3.9 percent in Japan and 4.1 percent in Hong Kong.

DPP Legislator Huang Sue-ying (黃淑英) said so far the government’s policies to combat the unemployment problem were all short-term measures and would not help solve things. The Council of Labor Affairs needs to come up with more long-term solutions, she said.

Meanwhile, DPP Spokesman Cheng Wen-tsang (鄭文燦) said yesterday during a separate press conference that the DPP would propose issuing food vouchers to low-income families.

DGBAS research showed that the jobless rate would top 6 percent by August.

More than 600,000 Taiwanese families would then qualify as low-income families, Cheng said.

“While Taipei City and Kaohsiung City have decided to issue food vouchers, the DPP would suggest the government issue food vouchers in other places around the nation because there will be more jobless people there,” Cheng said.

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