Latest initiative to revive the economy an ‘old trick’: DPP

By Chris Wang  /  Staff reporter

Thu, May 30, 2013 - Page 3

The Executive Yuan’s latest NT$3.24 billion (US$108 million) initiative to revive the “suffocated” economy is an “old trick” that President Ma Ying-jeou’s (馬英九) administration has played many times over the past five years, the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) said yesterday.

The Cabinet on Tuesday unveiled a package of 13 measures to boost what Premier Jiang Yi-huah (江宜樺) has described as the nation’s “suffocated” economy to ensure that GDP growth reaches the government’s 3 percent growth target this year.

“The tactic is all too familiar to us, as this administration has used it so many times before, telling people that the measures will pick up the sluggish economy. However, everyone knows what has happened,” DPP spokesperson Lin Chun-hsien (林俊憲) told a press conference.

The result of the NT$389.4 billion “Economic Power-up Plan” launched in September last year during former premier Sean Chen’s tenure was a slashed GDP forecast in the first quarter of this year, Lin said, adding that it was highly questionable whether the nation’s economy could be revived with NT$600 million and a set of slogans.

The initiative has failed to address some of the the most serious problems facing the nation’s economy, such as lower exports, which were down 1.9 percent in the first quarter compared with the same period last year, and the high unemployment rate among young people — 13 percent in the 20-24 age group, Lin said.

“It seems to us that the administration has issued the wrong prescription because it cannot identify where the problem lies,” the DPP spokesperson said.

The DPP caucus said the Ma administration has launched seven initiatives in the past five years to boost the economy under premiers Jiang, Chen and Liu Chao-hsiuan (劉兆玄), all of which have failed.

“It is a pity that this administration thinks it can run the country by using beautiful slogans,” DPP Legislator Pan Men-an (潘孟安) said.