An elderly man has waived his claim to four plots of land because the assets disqualified his disabled granddaughter from receiving a government subsidy.
The man had applied for a handicapped subsidy for his granddaughter to secure her well-being in the future because he worried that she would be unable to earn a living.
However, the man was found to be in possession of four plots of “traffic land” — land used for current or planned roads — located in Yilan County’s Luodong Township (羅東). According to an assessment by the township office, the total value of the four plots was more than NT$7 million (US$237,000).
The Public Assistance Act (社會救助法) stipulates that applicants with fixed assets of more than NT$6.5 million do not qualify for social subsidies.
Unhappy with the assessment, the man said the act should exclude traffic land because it is mainly used as passageways.
The township office dismissed his argument, saying the plots of land he owned were not categorized as urban planning roads, but rather as private roads and therefore they could not be excluded from the property assessment.
The man then attempted to donate the land to the township office, an offer which was turned down because the office is not permitted to accept donations of land categorized as “private roads” and because there would have been a NT$200,000 gift tax levied.
The grandfather then took his case to Control Yuan member Huang Huang-hsiung (黃煌雄), who assembled a team to examine the case comprised of officials from the Ministry of the Interior, the National Tax Administration of Northern Taiwan Province, the Yilan County Government and the Luodong Township office.
Both the ministry and the land office advised the man to “waive” the plots — which requires the consent of the recipient, unlike a donation — rather than donate them to enable the government to procure the properties legally.
The man subsequently waived his claims to the land so that his granddaughter would be entitled to receive the subsidy.
Translated by Stacy Hsu, staff writer