A stimulus coupon program proposed by the central government is too little, too late, the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) said yesterday.
National Development Council Minister Kung Ming-hsin (龔明鑫) on Monday said that the government’s preliminary plan is to allow each person to spend NT$1,000 to obtain NT$3,000 in coupons, with no income or age restrictions.
However, KMT Culture and Communications Committee director-general Alicia Wang (王育敏) told reporters at the party’s headquarters in Taipei that under the proposal, each person would receive just NT$2,000 in subsidies.
Photo: Lin Liang-sheng, Taipei Times
The value of the stimulus coupons should not be less than the NT$3,600 consumer vouchers issued in 2009 by the administration of then-president Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) to counter the effects of the global financial crisis, she said.
Instead, the KMT legislative caucus has proposed giving each person NT$6,000 in cash to stimulate the nation’s economy, she added.
The Executive Yuan is expected to announce its plans for the stimulus coupon scheme early next month before officially launching it in July, Wang said.
Describing the process as “too slow,” she said that many businesses are already struggling financially.
Last month, the unemployment rate hit 4.03 percent — the highest level for April since 2013, Wang said, citing Ministry of Labor statistics.
If businesses are unable to sustain their operations, it is workers who will suffer, she said.
Early on in the COVID-19 pandemic, the KMT began urging the government to hand out cash, she added, calling it a direct way to encourage spending.
However, the administration of President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) “opposes everything the KMT advocates,” Wang said.
She urged the government not to complicate the stimulus voucher program, saying that if it is too complicated or difficult to understand, it would lower people’s willingness to spend.
Later yesterday, KMT Chairman Johnny Chiang (江啟臣) echoed Wang’s remarks at a KMT Central Standing Committee meeting.
Asking people to pay NT$1,000 to receive NT$3,000 in vouchers makes the policy seem like a promotion offered by a business, Chiang said, adding that the KMT remains adamant about handing out cash.
The party would work with KMT-controlled city and county governments to combine their efforts to revitalize the economy, he said.
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