Minister of Finance Lee Sush-der (李述德) yesterday promised to press ahead with tax reform and start collecting taxes from teachers, civil servants and military personnel in 2012.
Reporting the ministry’s tax reform plans at the Chinese Nationalist Party’s (KMT) Central Standing Committee, Lee said lawmakers were negotiating a bill that proposed to eliminate tax exemptions for the group and aims at creating a fairer tax regime.
“The bill is likely to pass by the end of this session in the Legislative Yuan and we can probably start collecting income tax from the group from 2012, solving the problem that has lingered for decades,” he said at the weekly meeting.
The minister said tax reform would help boost government efficiency by simplifying administrative procedures and broadening the tax base.
President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九), in his capacity as KMT chairman, said he welcomed tax reform adding that with a lowered income tax rate for profit-seeking enterprises, private investment in Taiwan increased 34 percent this year, strengthening the nation’s international competitiveness.
“Narrowing the gap between the wealthy and the poor so that all the people share the fruits of our economic growth is a major goal in finance,” he said.
Meanwhile, KMT Spokesman Su Jun-pin (蘇俊賓) defended the party’s support for an amendment to the National Health Insurance Act (全民健康保險法) despite the KMT-dominated legislature’s failure to pass the amendment on Tuesday.
Su said KMT caucus whip Lin Yi-shih (林益世) would increase efforts to negotiate with party legislators and enhance communication between the KMT and the Democratic Progressive Party caucuses.
The legislature delayed a second and third reading for the majority of the items in the second-generation healthcare bill after failing to reach consensus on the items.