The Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) yesterday unveiled a plan for a “sensible economy” it said would revitalize Taiwan’s stagnant economic development, improve people’s livelihood and rival the President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) administration’s “out of touch” stimulus plan.
The party proposed measures to strengthen industry, empower local governments, improve household finance and create jobs for young people in an action plan outlined at a press conference yesterday.
The press conference was co-hosted by Wu Rong-i (吳榮義), convener of the DPP’s ad hoc economic measures task force, Policy Research Committee executive director Joseph Wu (吳釗燮), Lin Wan-yi (林萬億), the executive director of the DPP’s think tank, and party caucus whip Ker Chien-ming (柯建銘).
The DPP has been working on the plan for more than a month and announced the package two days before the legislature votes on a no-confidence motion against the Cabinet tomorrow and one day after Ma retained his economic officials in a controversial partial Cabinet reshuffle on Wednesday.
The party said the partial reshuffle was unacceptable and the president has ignored the real problem — the economy.
Citing a well-known phrase popularized by former US president Bill Clinton — “It’s the economy, stupid” — Joseph Wu said the action plan was the DPP’s response to Ma’s poor economic performance.
The DPP called for the empowerment of local governments by increasing their fiscal authority, amending the tax code to increase local revenues and putting local governments in charge of industrial parks across the country, Joseph Wu said.
In terms of improving industrial competitiveness, Wu Rong-i said, the government should rebuild Taiwan’s once proud manufacturing sector by transforming it into a value-added sector, increase the size of the credit guarantee fund for small to medium-sized enterprises (SME), help SMEs with brand-building and rebuild the vocational education system.
Thresholds on inflation and the consumer price index should be established so the government could adopt policies to stabilize household finances, Lin said, adding that public child care and long-term care systems should also be established.
The DPP called for the establishment of a subsidy plan to provide employers who hire people between the age of 18 and 24 with a subsidy of 20 percent of the initial monthly salary, or up to NT$6,000 per month, Lin said. They also said the plan could give employers a subsidy of 10 percent of the monthly wage if they extended hiring process of young people after one year, he said.
The government should provide customized employment consulting to unemployed people and create a crowd funding program to encourage young people with micro venture capital entrepreneurship, Lin said.
Ker urged Taiwanese to support the no-confidence motion against the Cabinet, because the administration has been unable to spur the struggling economy.