The Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) caucus is expected to initiate several anti-tax-evasion and anti-nuclear amendment proposals in the provisional legislative session, despite being unable to ensure their passage, DPP caucus convener Ker Chien-ming (柯建銘) said yesterday.
“We are going to ask the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) to clearly express its position on these issues. We will also demand that the Executive Yuan refrain from signing the cross-strait service trade agreement until the Legislative Yuan has comprehensively discussed it,” Ker said after the caucus meeting.
The DPP has listed 17 legislative proposals and four resolution proposals in order of priority in its agenda for the two-week extra session which begins tomorrow.
The KMT has set its sights on “only two things in the extra session: the passage of a national referendum on the Fourth Nuclear Power Plant and the establishment of representative offices for the Straits Exchange Foundation in China and for the Association for Relations Across the Taiwan Straits in Taiwan,” Ker said.
The DPP’s opposition to nuclear power has always been clear, which is why it has proposed to enact or amend what the party is referring to as the “three anti-nuclear bills,” which are legislation regarding the promotion of a nuclear-free homeland (非核家園推動法), the Nuclear Reactor Facilities Control Act (核子反應器設施管制法) and the Referendum Act (公投法), Ker said.
Tax evasion by large corporations is another serious issue the DPP is trying to tackle, as big businesses have been given unfair tax breaks, while “paper companies,” with headquarters in tax havens such as the Cayman Islands, were exempt from taxes, he said.
The government has had trouble generating revenues and finding funds for infrastructure projects because, in general, corporations are paying a lot less tax than the average taxpayer, Ker said.
“A company with an annual profit of NT$40 billion [US$1.34 billion] not paying any tax is simply not right,” he said.
Other planned initiatives include an amendment to the Political Party Act (政黨法) and a resolution that requests the establishment of a committee that monitors cross-strait agreements.
Meanwhile, Ker said he would support reforming the mechanism for cross-party negotiations, a topic raised by lawmakers across party lines after the public condemned the nation’s political parties for their “late-night secret deals,” notably the decriminalization of imprisoned former lawmaker Yen Ching-piao (顏清標) on the last day of the previous legislative session.
DPP lawmakers Chen Ting-fei (陳亭妃), Gao Jyh-peng (高志鵬) and Wu Ping-jui (吳秉叡), as well as several KMT lawmakers, said yesterday that promoting transparency in cross-party negotiations was crucial.