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Taiwan legislators urged to make stock gains tax top priority

Publication Date : 18-07-2012


Taiwan's Legislative Yuan Speaker Wang Jin-pyng said yesterday he was communicating with legislators to make the stock gains tax the first topic of discussion at the upcoming emergency legislative meeting in order to facilitate cross-party discussion.

Premier Sean Chen said that completing the ratification process of the stock gains tax would reduce uncertainties in the stock market.

Finance Minister Chang Sheng-ford said that he is cautiously optimistic about passing the stock gains tax by the end of the emergency meeting. He said each director-general of local National Tax Administration offices had been communicating with legislators about details of the proposal.

President Ma Ying-jeou has already arranged meetings with legislators for later this week, and Wang is also likely to hold a meeting before the legislative session, the finance minister said.

Chang stated that there is a consensus between the Cabinet and the president that the tax covering initial public offerings should not be imposed retroactively on stocks issued before the implementation of the stock gains tax.

According to Chang, the final version of the stock gains tax should be based on the version proposed by Kuomintang (KMT) Legislator Tsai Cheng-yuan, while adopting the advantages of other versions.

Only five versions of the stock gains tax — those of the Cabinet, Tsai, the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), the People First Party, and DPP Legislator Hsu Tain-tsair — will be sent to the plenary and discussed in cross-party negotiations.

The issue of the stock gains tax prompted heated debate in Taiwan. Former Finance Minister Christina Liu stepped down amid the controversy, citing her disagreement with the version proposed by the KMT caucus.

Tsai's version was sent to the Finance Committee on June 4, the last day for the committee to discuss the stock gains tax in the previous session.

In the extraordinary meeting the Legislative Yuan also plans to discuss US beef imports and the appointment of members of the National Communications Commission.

Also yesterday, the DPP proposed revising the Act Governing the Allocation of Government Income during the session, but KMT caucus whip Lin Hung-Chih stated that due to the complexity of the issue, the KMT is in favour of delaying the discussion until the next proper session, but vowed to make the issue a priority.

The Taichung City Government also issued a note on July 10 urging the government to increase funding for the special municipality next year.

The PFP yesterday announced its version of a government income allocation law, proposing to distribute NT$350 billion (US$11.6 billion)  to local governments every year — NT$200 billion ($6.6 billion) more than is distributed under current regulations.


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