Extra sessions show ‘desperation’: DPP

‘POLITICALLY MOTIVATED’::The DPP said that the KMT aimed to use two provisional sessions to pass controversial legislation so it can concentrate on next year’s elections

By Chris Wang  /  Staff reporter

Wed, May 29, 2013 - Page 3

The Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) caucus yesterday said the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) is so desperate to pass all its controversial bills that it plans to hold two provisional sessions to achieve its “politically motivated goals.”

The Legislative Yuan plans to hold the first provisional session from June 13 to June 27, while the second extra session could be held at the end of next month, Legislative Speaker Wang Jin-pyng (王金平) said.

“The KMT’s plan is to pass all the controversial legislation and the national referendum [on the construction of the Fourth Nuclear Power Plant in Gongliao (貢寮), New Taipei City (新北市)] before the end of this year so it can concentrate on the seven-in-one elections next year,” DPP caucus convener Ker Chien-ming (柯建銘) said.

Among the controversial bills are proposals on the capital gains tax on securities transactions, the nuclear power referendum, the pension reform plan and the establishment of representative offices across the Taiwan Strait, all of which have stirred heated public debate and a war of words between the KMT and opposition parties.

With the current session scheduled to go into recess after Friday, several bills have been sent by the respective legislative committees to the plenary session, after which they would have to wait another month as the bills await party negotiation.

“That is why two provisional sessions are needed to pass that legislation,” Ker said.

The DPP caucus hoped the extra session would examine the draft act on promoting a nuclear-free homeland (非核家園推動法), amendments to the Public Debt Act (公共債務法) and the Act Governing the Allocation of Government Revenues and Expenditures (財政收支劃分法), and the inking of a draft anti-monopoly media law (反媒體壟斷法), despite the possibility they could be blocked by the KMT.

Ker lambasted the KMT for insisting on the passage of amendments related to the capital gains tax after the previous revision endorsed by the party, which Ker described as “the most ridiculous and the worst version of all proposals,” saying the subsequent implementation of the tax code had been proven a failure, which was why the KMT proposed to again amend the act less than four months after it took effect.

The Taiwan Solidarity Union (TSU) said it opposed the extra sessions, which were planned to pass legislation favored by President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) and the KMT, with TSU Legislator Hsu Chung-hsin (許忠信) saying that the revised capital gains tax would still favor the rich and exploit small and medium-sized enterprises.

Under the revised act, the 8,500-point threshold that automatically triggers the imposition of the tax for most individual investors would be scrapped, while individual investors who sell NT$1 billion (US$33.49 million) in shares within a calendar year will be subject to either a 15 percent tax on their capital gains, or a 0.1 percent tax on stock trades that exceed NT$1 billion.