The Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) yesterday raised concerns over the prices of everday goods during the Lunar New Year holiday.
Premier-designate Jiang Yi-huah (江宜樺), who served as convener of the Executive Yuan’s task force on price stabilization, will have to be responsible for the task over the upcoming holiday, DPP spokesperson Lin Chun-hsien (林俊憲) said.
The Ministry of Economic Affairs unexpectedly changed the unwritten rule of freezing fuel prices during the Lunar New Year holiday with increases of NT$0.9 per liter in consecutive weeks, Lin said.
Citing a survey, Lin said that prices of 57 consumer items had increased since the beginning of this month, adding that the price of fast food has increased by 14 percent and fruit prices were up by about 10 percent.
Vendors have always sought to raise prices during the “sensitive period” of the Lunar New Year, a time for them to generate profits, Lin said.
Stabilizing prices would be the first major test for Jiang as premier, he added.
DPP Chairman Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌) said the fuel price increase was “surprising and provoking.”
President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) had acknowledged that a policy of fuel and electricity price increases was a mistake, but “is now making the same mistake,” Su said, adding that the Ma administration should increase it efforts to reform state-owned enterprises.