Hon Hai Precision Industry Co founder Terry Gou (郭台銘) yesterday said that, if elected president, he would make public childcare services widely available by imposing a wealth tax on the ultrarich.
The policy would address the lack of affordable public childcare services in the nation and help boost birthrates, he wrote on Facebook.
In Taiwan, many parents avoid having children because they cannot afford to raise them, Gou said.
Although President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) last year launched a semi-public childcare program, it promotes a “half-hearted and fake” form of public childcare, Gou said, adding that giving families monthly childcare subsidies of several thousand New Taiwan dollars makes little difference to them.
While there are affordable public childcare services, only a small number of children are lucky enough to be chosen by lottery to attend them, he said.
For example, in the 2018 academic year, there were 839,088 children aged between two and five, but less than 2 percent of them entered a public or non-profit kindergarten, he said.
The number of public childcare centers for children aged two and under is even less, he said.
Families that have no choice but to send their children to a private kindergarten must pay an average monthly fee of NT$7,500 to NT$25,000, which is even more expensive than going to a private university, he said.
“If elected president, I would promote real public childcare and make the services available to people who might not be lucky enough to be chosen by lottery,” he said.
To fund the the plan, he would impose a wealth tax on the ultrarich and redistribute the budget for the Forward-Looking Infrastructure Development Program, he said.
He would also examine all government agencies, state-owned real estate, businesses and facilities to see if they have space to build more childcare centers and kindergartens, he said.
He would encourage universities and colleges to increase classes for childcare professionals, provide government subsidies for related classes and raise child carers’ starting salary to NT$38,000 a month, Gou said.
Meanwhile, Kaohsiung Mayor Han Kuo-yu (韓國瑜) posted on Facebook a draft of a speech that he had prepared for a forum the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) held for its presidential primary candidates in Kaohsiung on Tuesday.
In the last two paragraphs of the draft, which Han did not have time to read at the forum, the he said that if elected president, his national defense policy would be “defensive rather than aggressive.”
Aiming to “avoid war rather than seek war,” he would use technology to replace manpower and use a minimal budget to ensure optimal military prowess.
The responsibility of a nation’s leader is to ensure that people have a happy and stable life, rather than make them sacrifice their lives for passion, he said.
He believes that a president should be someone who loves their country and people, is not greedy and not afraid of death, he said.
Separately, when asked about We Care Kaohsiung’s plan to launch a recall campaign against him, Han yesterday said he respects the group’s opinion.
However, “I do not know if anyone is deliberately trying to make waves or create certain impressions,” he said during a visit to Shanwei Fishing Port (汕尾漁港) in Linyuan District (林園).
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