Thu, Aug 20, 2015 - Page 3 News List

KMT promotes Hung’s tax idea, calls for debate

By Alison Hsiao  /  Staff reporter

The Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) caucus yesterday touted KMT presidential candidate Hung Hsiu-chu’s (洪秀柱) capital gains tax reform proposal as the “most feasible” solution to the controversial tax and called for a policy debate between Hung and Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) presidential candidate Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文).

Hung announced her second policy for boosting the economy on Tuesday, proposing to cut the securities transaction tax from 0.3 percent to 0.25 percent and imposing a 0.05 percent tax on capital gains.

KMT caucus whip Lai Shyh-bao (賴士葆) said Hung’s proposal is more feasible than the DPP’s version, which was drafted by former minister of finance Lin Chuan (林全), and would ease investors’ concern over the tax.

Lai said the caucus would, based on Hung’s version, revise a draft bill proposed by KMT Legislator Lo Ming-tsai (羅明才) that would abolish the capital gains tax, and push the new proposal in the next legislative session, which is scheduled to commence next month.

It would be “too slow to wait for another proposal tabled by the Executive Yuan after its Cabinet meeting,” Lai added.

“Our version is very different from Lin’s, which requires post-investment procedures [for filing taxes], while ours would allow investors to choose beforehand how they prefer to be taxed,” by paying either a 15 percent tax on capital gains or a 0.05 percent tax on capital gains, on top of the 0.25 percent securities transaction tax, Lai said.

“Second, whereas we do not ask for a tax increase, Lin does, levying an extra 0.1 percent tax,” in addition to the 0.3 percent securities transaction tax,” Lai said.

KMT Legislator Alex Fai (費鴻泰) called for a public policy debate between Hung and Tsai, with each bringing three experts to the debate for society to decide.

When asked whether the KMT caucus’ revised version was a rebuke to President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九), an avid proponent of the tax, Fai said the aim of the bill is to invigorate the capital market, not only to boost tax revenues, but also to help corporations.

The spirit of legislating a capital gains tax has not changed, “the question is how we should adjust it. It is a multiple-choice question, not just a yes or no,” he said.

The DPP caucus later held a press conference, saying that the KMT has proposed a total of 14 versions of the capital gains tax over the past few years, “each different from the last one like phases of the moon at different times of the month.”

“The DPP has proposed a 0.3 percent securities transaction tax and a 0.1 percent capital gains tax that would not be levied if the investor does not make any profit,” DPP Legislator Tsai Chi-chang (蔡其昌) said.

“If the KMT wants to copy [our version], that is okay, but it should copy the complete version, not just half of it,” he said.

Tsai Chi-chang added that the DPP’s version aims for justice and fairness and to increase the nation’s tax revenues.

“However, the KMT’s version reduces the securities transaction tax first and turns the reduced part into the capital gains tax, which would in essence decrease tax revenues,” he said.

He added that the DPP had often sought to engage the KMT in debate in the legislature, but had always been denied by a show of hands by KMT members.

The DPP welcomes any debate on policies, but not if it is used as an election tactic, he said.

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