The Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) caucus said yesterday it “had reservations” about the Chinese Nationalist Party’s (KMT) proposals to raise taxes and to impose a capital gains tax.
KMT Legislator Tseng Chu-wei (曾巨威) said that imposing a capital gains tax “is a road Taiwan must take,” while Control Yuan President Wang Chien-hsien (王建煊) said he would like to have been finance minister so that he could implement a series of measures to raise taxes.
“President Ma Ying-jeou’s (馬英九) attitude, rather than who the finance minister is, is the most important factor in advancing tax reforms,” DPP Legislator and party caucus chief secretary Chen Ting-fei (陳亭妃) told a press conference.
“We would like to remind President Ma that raising taxes alone will not resolve the issue of the national debt. Reducing government inefficiency is important as well,” Chen said.
DPP Legislator Huang Wei-cher (黃偉哲) said imposing a capital gains tax was the right direction to go, as “that income is considered easy money when compared with that of blue-collar workers.”
However, the details and categories have to be worked out by the government before further discussions on the issue can take place, Huang said.
The government should levy a wealth tax on the top 5 percent of earners, instead of imposing capital gains tax on securities transactions, Taiwan Solidarity Union whip Hsu Chung-hsin (許忠信) said.
Meanwhile, Premier Sean Chen (陳冲) said that taxation and finance were not necessarily the same, adding that the job of finance minister entailed not only raising or cutting taxes, but also considering the government’s overall financial health, while balancing income and expenditure.
Accompanied by Executive Yuan Secretary-General Lin Yi-shih (林益世), Minister-Without-Portfolio Yang Chiu-hsing (楊秋興) and Greater Kaohsiung Mayor Chen Chu (陳菊), Sean Chen inspected post-Morakot reconstruction areas and asked about job opportunities, industry and the sustainability of the environment in post-disaster areas.
Replying to questions by reporters on raising taxes, including the possibility of including a capital gains tax, Sean Chen said that there are a lot of problems with the taxation system, which needs to be reformed.
The overall effects of taxation, as well as the overhead costs of collecting taxes need to be reviewed, the premier said, adding that as implementing a capital gains tax is not seen as a consensus issue, it would depend on the finance minister’s report.
With translation by Jake Chung, staff writer