Some foreigners are to be eligible for a proposed NT$6,000 (US$197) handout from surplus tax revenue, the Executive Yuan said yesterday, as it forwarded its surplus allocation plan to the legislature for deliberation.
Only foreign nationals with permanent residency, diplomats and spouses of Taiwanese would be eligible for the one-time cash payments, Executive Yuan spokesman Lo Ping-cheng (羅秉成) told reporters after a Cabinet meeting.
Asked when the payments could be expected, Lo said the legislature must first deliberate and pass the Cabinet’s plan for spending NT$380 billion in surplus taxes collected last year.
After the plan clears the legislature, the Cabinet would send a funding proposal to lawmakers for approval before the payments can be issued, Lo said.
Agencies are making preparations so the handouts can be issued soon after the special budget is passed, he added.
Executive Yuan Secretary-General Lee Meng-yen (李孟諺) is coordinating discussions between agencies on how to issue the rebate, Lo said.
The government would likely offer three options for payment: direct deposit following an online application, withdrawal from an ATM or retrieving the money in person at a post office bank, he said.
Preparations are expected to take about a month, he added.
Democratic Progressive Party caucus whip Ker Chien-ming (柯建銘) said that the legislative speaker would open negotiations to determine when the bill would be deliberated on.
However, there are many items to discuss, so there might be disagreements, he added.
Aside from the NT$140 billion to go toward funding the handouts, the rest of the NT$380 billion tax surplus is to be divided between eight beneficiaries, the Cabinet’s plan says.
The health and labor insurance systems along with Taiwan Power Co (Taipower, 台電) would receive NT$100 billion in total, which would help “subsidize electricity prices” among other things, the plan says.
Another NT$100 billion would be set aside for long-term measures aimed at bolstering economic resilience amid shrinking export orders, it says.
Asked for details about the funding for Taipower, National Development Council Minister Kung Ming-hsin (龔明鑫) said only that the council awaited the company to propose its “demand.”
Taipower should propose a plan for approval, specifying how much money it needs and its spending plans, Kung said.
The handout plan came after the Ministry of Finance in November last year estimated that tax revenue for the whole of the year would exceed the budgeted amount by NT$450 billion.
Local governments are to receive NT$70 billion of the surplus, leaving NT$380 billion at the government’s disposal, the Cabinet said.
Acting Minister of Finance Juan Ching-hwa (阮清華) yesterday revised the estimated surplus tax revenue for last year to NT$495 billion.
The additional NT$45 billion would go to the government’s special funds, Juan said.
Additional reporting by Hsieh Chun-lin
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