Several environmental protection organizations yesterday voiced their opposition to a government plan to distribute vouchers to stimulate consumption as this would only encourage a waste of resources and accelerate global warming.
The groups, including the Green Party Taiwan, Youth Labor Union 95, Green Citizens' Action Alliance and Taiwan Environmental Action Network, expressed their discontent at a press conference in front of Taipei 101.
The activists, dressed in monkey costumes, covered their eyes, ears and mouths with their hands, while urging the public “not to watch commercials, not to listen to sales promotion, and not to talk about buying this or that.”
They said they opposed the idea of distributing consumer vouchers to prop up a slumping economy.
Earlier in the day, Premier Liu Chao-shiuan (劉兆玄) said the government would soon distribute NT$82.9 billion (US$2.6 billion) worth of consumer vouchers to help stimulate the economy.
Liu said each Taiwanese citizen, regardless of income level, would receive NT$3,600 in coupons to purchase goods at local retail outlets.
Criticizing the plan, Green Party Taiwan Secretary-General Pan Han-shen (潘翰聲) said that business downturns are part of capitalism, but encouraging indulgence and excessive waste would have a catastrophic effect on nature.
A recession could be an opportunity to give the Earth a rest, Pan said.
Hu Meng-yu (胡孟瑀) of the Youth Labor Union 95 said that the plan would put a heavy financial burden on the government and the resulting national debt would leave a burden on future generations.
He criticized the voucher program as a violation of generational justice.
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