Hung’s stock tax pledge a ‘harmful imitation,’ claims DPP
Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) chairwoman and presidential hopeful Tsai Ing-wen ( ) called out rival Kuomintang ( KMT) candidate Hong Hsiu-chu’s ( ) stock tax pledge yesterday, stating it was “harmful” imitation of the DPP’s plans three years ago.
Tsai said, in a statement provided by DPP spokesman Cheng Yun-peng ( ), that three years ago, the DPP pushed an alternative to President Ma Ying-jeou’s proposed capital gains tax provision plan. Hung’s plan is a copy of that same plan, only with different tax rates, the DPP claimed.
“Hung’s version of the tax rate plan will damage financial and taxation equality,” Tsai said. The proposal by the ruling party’s presidential candidate also contradicted her party’s policy from three years ago, said Tsai, which she claimed, meant that the Ma goverment’s decision was hastily made and incorrect, Tsai said.
The chairwoman stated that she has not see any high-ranking KMT party members come out to shoulder responsibility for the current failed capital gains tax plan, which underwent a number of revisions that had a significant impact on investors and shareholders.
“Who should be held responsible for causing pain over the past three years?” Tsai demanded.
Hung’s pledge which was announced on Tuesday, proposed a 0.25-percent tax on stock transactions and a 0.05-percent tax on stock transaction gains. There is currently a transaction tax of 0.3-percent on stock market trades, but taxes on transactional gains have yet to be implemented.
Sweeping Black Money Forces
The DPP Central Standing Committee also passed a proposal to amend the Local Government Act, calling for the implementation of recorded voting for elections of city and county council speakers and deputy speakers and the suspension of speakers involved in council election vote-buying.
The proposal was submitted by committee members Tainan Mayor William Lai ( ) and Kaohsiung Mayor Chen Chu ( ) and also advocated by Tsai.
The proposed amendments are seen as a attempt to support Lai’s refusal to attend meetings of the Tainan City Council, a decision based on his demands to see Tainan Council Speaker Lee Chuan-chiao’s (
) alleged buying of votes punished by the courts.
Suspension of council speakers should be immediate once they are charged with bribery in speakership elections, the two DPP committee members proposed. Tsai said she expects the DPP party caucus to push forward the amendments in the Legislative Yuan.
Ending corrupt money is an important reform in local politics, Tsai stated.
“Black money forces” have been strengthened through bribery in elections and will not only monopolize and divide local public resources, but Taiwanese society “will also have to pay a painful price,” Tsai warned.
The chairwoman named dealing with “sweeping black money politics” as the sixth plank of her political reform platform to seek justice for Taiwanese society, echoing previous announcements in Kaohsiung, Tainan and Chiayi.
“Black money politics is poisonous for democratic governance,” Tsai said. “The DPP practices methods to thwart black money operations from interfering with local council speakers’ elections. However, this was met with legal action and opposition from conservative forces.”
Reform is the only way to maintain transparent and public council speaker and deputy speakership elections, and uphold the constitution, Tsai said. Suspension following allegations of wrongdoing will also have a deterring effect on bribery elections.