The Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) yesterday called on the Ministry of Transportation and Communications to provide relief for tourism bus operators and vehicle rental agencies, as well as provide more incentives for companies to hire recent graduates.
A nationwide level 3 COVID-19 alert has severely affected the transportation industry, so flexible government policies are needed to assist operators, or many would go bankrupt, DPP Legislator Chen Ting-fei (陳亭妃) told an online news conference.
DPP lawmakers asked the ministry to ease their financial burden by pushing back due dates for license plate and fuel taxes.
For individuals, license plate and fuel taxes are due once a year, while companies pay the license levy twice a year and the fuel tax quarterly.
“We urge that the license and fuel taxes be suspended across the transport sector,” Chen said.
“To be fair to everyone, individual taxpayers should have the levies reduced, because everyone is affected by the lockdown,” she said.
Kuo-Kuang Motor Transport Co vice president Wang Ying-chieh (王應傑) told the news conference that the restrictions have affected the transportation sector dramatically, with revenue vanishing.
However, companies still have to pay drivers and in-house employees, as well as vehicle maintenance, insurance and rent, Wang said.
Large transportation companies have 2,000 to 3,000 employees each and there would be severe repercussions on society if they go bankrupt, he said.
National Joint Association of Rental Car chairman Lin Chien-liang (林建良) said that the vehicle rental sector is almost at a standstill.
Lin asked lawmakers to prod the ministry to provide financial relief, or many businesses would go under.
In a separate online media briefing, DPP lawmakers asked the Ministry of Labor to extend financial support for companies to encourage hiring of young people and new graduates.
DPP Legislator Chiu Chih-wei (邱志偉) said that many graduates are having difficulty finding work amid the level 3 alert.
The labor ministry must extend its youth employment incentive program from the end of September to the end of the year, Chiu said.
Under the program, graduates may be eligible for NT$20,000 each if they are employed for three months and an additional NT$10,000 if they work for six months.
The government should also provide incentives for graduates who find work in the “five plus two” industries, Chiu said, referring to the Cabinet’s plan to stimulate local development of an “Asian Silicon Valley,” and smart machinery, green energy, biomedicine and defense industries, as well as a new agricultural business model and a circular economy.
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