More than 90 percent of Taiwanese want to receive cash rather than “quintuple stimulus vouchers” proposed by the Executive Yuan, a survey by the Consumers’ Foundation showed yesterday.
The Executive Yuan is planning to issue another round of stimulus vouchers worth NT$5,000 to encourage domestic consumption in the wake of the recent COVID-19 outbreak.
It on Thursday touted four advantages of issuing “quintuple stimulus vouchers” instead of cash, saying that the expiration date on the vouchers would mean that people would have to spend them quickly and, hence, stimulate the economy.
Photo: Wu Chi-lun, Taipei Times
Rather than using cash for one-time payments such as taxes and fines, business owners could also use the vouchers they have received, creating a consumption cycle, it said.
Vouchers could also be more beneficial, as many businesses and local governments would offer discounts or incentives encouraging consumers to spend them, it said, adding that by requiring people to pay NT$1,000 in advance they would be less likely to waste the money.
The Executive Yuan is scheduled to further discuss the proposed voucher plan with the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) caucus today.
The foundation said its online questionnaire found that 90.2 percent of respondents would prefer cash, while only 9.8 percent were in favor of “quintuple stimulus vouchers.”
Their reasons for choosing cash include hoping the government would “provide relief first, then stimulate the economy,” consider the administrative costs of issuing vouchers a waste of money, consider cash more environmentally friendly, or prefer cash because it can be saved or used to pay for tuition or other purposes, it said.
Foundation chairman Terry Huang (黃怡騰) said the foundation originally planned to conduct the survey from Thursday last week through tomorrow, but more than 20,000 people had already responded by Saturday, so it decided to publicize the poll results ahead of the Executive Yuan’s meeting with the DPP caucus today.
Foundation secretary-general Hsu Tse-yu (徐則鈺) said the survey showed that the vast majority of people would prefer cash, so the government should listen to the public and give out cash as soon as possible to help people who suffered economically during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The “quintuple stimulus vouchers” not only cost money to print, but also limit trading partners, as they involve tax reporting and other procedures, said Lu Hsin-chang (盧信昌), a professor at National Taiwan University’s Department of International Business.
They are also less convenient than cash for residents in remote areas, Lu added.
When the government issued the Triple Stimulus Vouchers last year, business owners needed to go through complicated procedures such as stamping the vouchers and bank reconciliation, he said, adding that extended transaction periods when using vouchers also increase the risk of disease transmission.
Huang said the survey result showed “the people’s complaints,” and urged the government to deal with the people’s grievances.
The budget for economic stimulus policies comes from taxpayer money, so its should be used to best solve the challenges people are facing, he said.
LIABILITIES MULLED: New Taipei City Mayor Hou You-yi said Taipei would find out if the firm was legally registered, the guide was licensed and the weather was assessed The assets of Tian Da Local Nature Co are to be frozen after at least four people died after falling into the Beishi River (北勢溪) on an outing the company had organized on Saturday, the Taipei City Government said yesterday. Six people — two adults and four children — were washed away by a flash flood on the river in New Taipei City’s Hubaotan (虎豹潭) area. They were participating in a Nature Joy Camp outdoor activity with a group of 16 adults and 15 children led by a guide surnamed Su (蘇). As of 4:30pm yesterday, four of the missing had been
The US 7th Fleet yesterday confirmed that a US Navy ship transited the Taiwan Strait on Thursday and Friday. “The Arleigh Burke-class guided missile destroyer USS Dewey [DDG 105] conducted a Taiwan Strait transit in cooperation with Royal Canadian Navy [RCN] Halifax-class frigate, HMCS Winnipeg, October 14-15, 2021,” the US 7th Fleet said in a statement. “Dewey’s and Winnipeg’s transit through the Taiwan Strait demonstrates the commitment of the United States and our allies and partners to a free and open Indo-Pacific. Cooperation like this represents the centerpiece of our approach to a secure and prosperous region,” it added. The transit marked the
‘COUNTERPRODUCTIVE’: The German, French and Singaporean missions said that Taiwan’s COVID-19 restrictions are hindering local projects and business operations Several foreign missions in Taiwan have urged the government to ease its strict COVID-19 border controls, which they say are hurting in-person exchanges and business operations. The missions made the appeal in response to media inquiries on how the border controls have affected their respective countries’ exchanges with Taiwan, amid growing concerns voiced privately by Taiwan-based foreign offices and businesses regarding the restrictions. Taiwan has maintained strict entry requirements since March last year, generally prohibiting most arrivals except for citizens and foreign residents, while it has required those who enter the country to undergo a stringent 14-day quarantine. Although the rules have been
PROTECTION: The Ministry of Health and Welfare is aiming for a full vaccination rate of 30 percent, and allowing mixed first and second doses to boost coverage rates Whether Taiwan reopens its borders would depend on the nation’s vaccination coverage rate and the COVID-19 situation in other countries, Deputy Minister of Health and Welfare Shih Chung-liang (石崇良) said yesterday. The Ministry of Health and Welfare is aiming for a 70 percent first-dose vaccination coverage and 30 percent two-dose coverage as part of its consideration, Shih told a media briefing following the weekly Cabinet meeting. In spite of a relatively stable COVID-19 situation in Taiwan, and calls from foreign missions and businesses in the country to allow more international travelers, the government is maintaining strict border control measures. Since March last year,