The government should freeze electricity and fuel prices to prevent the costs of other goods from rising, as the nation fights a COVID-19 outbreak, Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Chairman Johnny Chiang (江啟臣) said yesterday.
Speaking on the sidelines of an event for the donation of medical supplies in Taichung, Chiang said that when the outbreak was first detected in May, he and officials from the 14 cities and counties governed by the KMT discussed the issue by videoconference.
They agreed that the government should prioritize freezing the prices of electricity and fuel, he said, adding that those two costs affect the prices of other goods.
“Over the past month or so, fuel prices have risen eight times, but the government remains unconcerned,” he said. “Everyone is staying at home, but they are paying a very high price.”
Chiang said that on June 1 — when higher summer electricity rates take effect — he urged the government to suspend the implementation of the higher rates.
While he and other KMT members had asked the government to call off the price increase altogether this year, it only canceled the higher rates for last month, he said.
Summer electricity rates are applied in Taiwan annually from June to September.
Without a price freeze on electricity and fuel, so-called “relief orphans” would have an even tougher time, Chiang said, referring to a term used by critics to describe groups not covered by the government’s COVID-19 relief programs.
“We already have a bunch of ‘vaccine orphans’ and ‘relief orphans,’” Chiang said.
Freezing electricity and fuel prices are “the easiest to achieve,” he said, adding that the government would be disregarding the lives of people if it does not adopt the measure.
Once the prices of goods go up, they usually do not come back down, he said.
“If you [the government] cannot give universal cash handouts, you should at least freeze the prices of fuel and electricity,” he added.
The KMT has repeatedly called on the government to give NT$10,000 to all Taiwanese as a COVID-19 relief measure.
Separately, the KMT legislative caucus urged the Executive Yuan to establish a “price stabilization committee” in light of what the caucus said were “soaring prices.”
Domestic prices have “continued to soar” since the COVID-19 alert in Taipei and New Taipei City was on May 15 raised to level 3, it said in a statement.
The caucus also echoed Chiang’s calls for the government to scrap summer electricity fees, freeze fuel prices and provide a universal relief payment of NT$10,000.
The Democratic Progressive Party should “feel people’s pain” and ease their burden, KMT caucus whip Alex Fai (費鴻泰) said.
‘LONE WOLF’: The suspect was difficult to locate, as he did not use a cellphone, did not contact family and often lived in abandoned sites or parks, police said Taipei police on Thursday morning arrested a man accused of numerous burglaries and at least 14 incidents of sexual assault spanning more than 20 years, in what might be the nation’s most notorious crime spree in recent years. Sixty-year-old Tu Ming-lang (涂明朗) — who was yesterday placed in judicial detention, after a judge determined he was a flight risk without a fixed address — faces multiple charges of sexual assault and burglary, police said. A task force comprised of various law enforcement agencies arrested Tu as part of an investigation into an April 28 burglary in Daan District (大安), in which a
Ninth graders were asked to define “trolling” on this year’s standardized exam, reflecting efforts to make the test better reflect real-life situations. Adjustments to this year’s Comprehensive Assessment Program for Junior High School Students were revealed on Sunday, after the last cohort of students completed the test over the weekend. The Ministry of Education solicited feedback about the test from teachers, who approved of the new question in the English portion. Not only was question No. 20 “very much in line with real-life situations,” but it also used a new style in which students were asked to ascertain the correct dictionary definition based
Taiwan is on alert for monkeypox, a rare viral disease that has caused 87 infections in 11 countries over the past three weeks, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) said on Saturday. The WHO on Friday convened an emergency session to discuss a sudden outbreak of monkeypox in North America and Europe. Since the beginning of this month, 87 confirmed cases and 28 possible cases have been identified in 11 countries. The countries with the highest case counts are England with 29 cases, and Portugal and Spain with 23 each. Monkeypox is a viral zoonotic disease occurring primarily in the tropical rainforest areas
Three human skeletons and artifacts believed to be about 400 years old were unearthed by construction workers at National Ilan University in Yilan County, the university said yesterday. The discoveries were made on May 10 as workers were digging to expand the College of Electronic Engineering and Computer Science’s facilities, the university said in a statement. The skeletons were found at three sites, along with glass beads, copper bells and rings, discs and a fish-shaped metal knot, it said. The find is likely connected to the “Old Baili Village” (擺厘舊社, Bai Li Jiu She), an as-yet-undiscovered Kavalan settlement that has been mentioned in