Sat, Oct 27, 2018 - Page 3 News List

2018 Elections: DPP creates unit to tout economic progress

BY Su Fun-her and Jonathan Chin  /  Staff reporter, with staff writer

Democratic Progressive Party Secretary-General Hung Yao-fu, front row third left, and representatives from various business sectors hold up their fists during a news conference at the party’s headquarters in Taipei yesterday to announce the formation of a campaign team concentrating on the economy.

Photo: CNA

The Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) yesterday announced the establishment of a new campaign unit to stump on economic issues in the run-up to the Nov. 24 nine-in-one elections.

At a news conference at its headquarters in Taipei, DPP Secretary-General Hung Yao-fu (洪耀福) said that the party has accomplished much in improving the economy, and sharing the fruits of that growth is an important objective of the party.

The DPP platform is defined by reform and creating an economy that will make Taiwan a more equitable, rich and powerful country, he said, adding that improved wages and tax cuts are thanks to the government.

Members of the unit are to travel throughout the nation and share their experiences, as well as explain the economic achievements of President Tsai Ing-wen’s (蔡英文) administration, he said.

In an apparent endorsement of the DPP, heads of the Taiwan Confederation of Trade Unions, Federation of Craft Workers Unions and Chung Hwa Rotary Educational Foundation also spoke at the news conference.

The labor incidents bill that the DPP administration is drafting is sympathetic to workers’ interests, Taiwan Confederation of Trade Unions secretary-general Tai Kuo-jung (戴國榮) said.

The government’s draft bill is to place the burden of proof for workplace accidents on employers and improve workers’ accessibility to labor arbitration process, he said.

Should the bill become law, it would rectify the imbalance of power and access to information between employers and workers, he said.

“I support the administration because the labor incidents act would improve working conditions, and more importantly, it is a crucial step toward protecting labor rights and human rights in Taiwan,” he said.

The government has increased the minimum wage by 9.72 percent, or NT$1,992 (US$64.25), and additional increases planned next year are to bring the minimum wage to NT$23,100 per month and NT$150 per hour, Federation of Craft Workers Unions chairman Chang Chia-ming (張家銘) said.

The public had been skeptical of the government’s ability to increase the minimum wage, because it had been unable to do so for eight years when run by the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT), he said.

“The numbers clearly show that the DPP administration can take care of underprivileged citizens without losing the support of its enterprises,” he said. “Steady increases of the minimum wage would guarantee that the fruits of the economy are shared by all.”

Foreign investments have increased by 75 percent from 2015 to last year, while foreign capital inflow in April was valued at US$2.47 million, representing an increase of 69 percent [baseline of comparison unavailable], Chung Hwa Rotary Educational Foundation chairman Chen Mao-jen (陳茂仁) said.

Google’s decision to expand its operations in Taiwan and Winbond Electronics Corp’s NT$335 billion investment in facilities in Kaohsiung are evidence that tax reforms and deregulation have boosted confidence in Taiwan’s business environment, he said.

The Tsai administration has undertaken important legal reforms that have improved the regulation of businesses, Lawyer Huang Di-ying (黃帝穎) said.

Over the past two years, the Financial Supervisory Commission has made a substantial effort to disentangle the financial sector from its ownership of industries, enhance oversight of business administration and build a fair national market, he said.

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