Hon Hai Precision Industry Co chairman Terry Gou (郭台銘) yesterday said that he would improve the government’s finances and prioritize returning canceled benefits to retired military personnel, civil servants and public-school teachers if elected president.
Gou made the remarks on the sidelines of a book launch held by the 800 Heroes for the Republic of China Association outside the Legislative Yuan in Taipei.
The group held the event to promote a book documenting a 485-day protest it held in 2017 and last year to oppose pension cuts.
Photo: Peter Lo, Taipei Times
Two other Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) presidential hopefuls also attended the event — former Taipei County commissioner Chou Hsi-wei (周錫瑋) and National Taiwan University political science professor Chang Ya-chung (張亞中) — as well as KMT Chairman Wu Den-yih (吳敦義) and several KMT legislators.
Kaohsiung Mayor Han Kuo-yu (韓國瑜) did not attend, but sent a handwritten message congratulating the group.
In a short speech, Gou criticized President Tsai Ing-wen’s (蔡英文) administration for cutting the retirement benefits of military personnel, civil servants and public-school teachers, and accused it of stripping them of their dignity.
He promised to help them “reclaim their dignity” and to seek ways to restore their benefits if elected president.
“The key was that the Tsai administration did not know how to boost government revenue. All it knew was to cut budgets,” he said.
If elected, he would improve the nation’s economy and increase government revenue to fund benefits for military personnel, civil servants and public-school teachers, he said.
When asked how he would convince these groups to support him instead of Han, Gou said: “I know how to make money.”
Any policy plan would be an empty promise without enough money to fund them, he said.
“If I can bring in enough revenue, I promise that [their benefits] would be a priority,” he added.
Earlier this month, Gou criticized Han for “making empty promises” after the mayor said that the government should restore the cut pensions.
The government must first increase its revenue by improving the economy, imposing a wealth tax and other means, Gou said at the time.
Asked why he was not at the event, former New Taipei City mayor Eric Chu (朱立倫) said that he was not informed about it until Wednesday and had already made plans to attend another event with retired military officers.
He said that he would push for another pension reform if elected president.
To increase the government’s pension fund, he would raise salaries and improve the fund’s investment plans, Chu said.
“Having concrete policy plans is the most important thing,” he added.
His campaign style is characterized by hard work, a middle-of-the-road approach and no slogans, Chu added.
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