Tsai Ing-wen calls for across-the-board budget cuts

By Chris Wang  /  Staff reporter

Fri, Nov 23, 2012 - Page 3

Former Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) chairperson Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) yesterday called for suspending the implementation of the capital gains tax and slashing the government budget by 20 percent to realize structural change that would resolve Taiwan’s fiscal woes.

The former DPP presidential candidate addressed a wide range of issues in an interview with the Chinese-language Business Today weekly magazine, which was published yesterday, with a primary focus on resolving Taiwan’s deteriorating fiscal problems.

On the much-debated implementation of a capital gains tax, Tsai said it would be “bad timing” for the government to deal with the issue now and she recommended suspending the tax initiative for the time being.

The former DPP leader also recommended slashing the budgets of all government agencies by 20 percent because only by such dramatic measures would reforms succeed.

Citing her experience as former vice premier, Tsai said government agencies would survive the budget cut well, adding that the slashed budget should be reallocated. Rejuvenating agricultural development and promoting high value-added industries with innovation are what Tsai called “two wings” for Taiwan to create job opportunities, which is the most important factor in stimulating the economy and consumption.

Tsai, who is widely considered a potential presidential candidate for 2016, also spoke about the next presidential election.

The days of strongman politics are gone, she said, saying President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) has been a perfect example that placing too much expectation on a politician can be dangerous.