ISSUE 48                                                                                        July 16, 2020
Taiwan Weekly
Reliable report and analysis of the most important issues in Taiwan
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● This Week in Taiwan: 
Other Important Events This Week


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Responding to Pandemic, Taiwan Unveils Stingiest, Most Complicated Stimulus Package
As the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic eases, the Executive Yuan has rolled out "Triple Stimulus Vouchers" to revitalize the consumer economy, but the rules are extremely complicated.
(Photo from: China Times)
Featured News

10 Million People Pre-Ordered Taiwan’s Stimulus Vouchers

News Compiled and Reported by Taiwan Weekly

 

As the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic eases, the Executive Yuan launched the "Triple Stimulus Vouchers" to revitalize Taiwan’s economy. They will be available from July 15. Public pre-orders became available from July 1, and more than 10 million people submitted orders in just eight days. More than 80 percent of the people chose to collect physical vouchers. As predicted, from July 15, post offices and convenient stores across various regions saw long queues for the vouchers.

 

Each set of "Triple Stimulus Vouchers" include four NT$500 vouchers (about US$17) and five NT$200 vouchers (about US$6). From July 15 onwards, the public will pay NT$1,000 (about US$34) to receive paper vouchers worth NT$3,000 (about US$101). There are other methods such as tying the e-vouchers to credit cards, mobile payments, and e-payments. With NT$3,000 spending, one will be refunded NT$2,000 (about US$68). Vouchers will be valid until the end of the year.

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Featured Editorial
The editorial of the United Daily News argues that the Triple Stimulus Vouchers scheme is the self-righteous scheme of a "control-freak" government.
(Photo from: United Daily News)

Triple Stimulus Voucher, Product of Control-Freak Administration, Harshest in History

United Daily News Editorial, July 11, 2020

 

This month, Taiwan is launching its "Triple Stimulus Voucher” program to help boost its sagging economy amid the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. The program allowed Taiwanese citizens as well as their foreign spouses to purchase vouchers worth NT$3,000 (about US$100) for the price of NT$1,000 (about US$33). The scenario for the said program had been wrong all the way, and it repeatedly deviated from the expectations of the people.
 

The device and guidelines of the stimulus voucher were a self-righteous masterpiece by a "control freak" government. Compared with other countries, Taiwan’s stimulus vouchers had several characteristics:

  1. First, the people of Taiwan received the lowest amount of bailout money in the world.
  2. Second, the related guidelines were the most complicated.
  3. Third, the only bailout money that needs to be paid for "repurchase" as a pre-condition.
  4. Fourth, the procedures to pick up the stimulus vouchers were costly and time-consuming.
  5. Fifth is that it is illegal for the holders of the National Health Insurance (NHI) card to collect the stimulus vouchers, though the government had knowingly noted it. 

read more

 

From: https://udn.com/news/story/7338/4693316

Featured Opinion
The pandemic relief package run by the DPP administration in Taiwan is quite extensive but its effect has been questioned as limited.
(Photo from: China Times)

Will a Barrage of Relief Vouchers Save the Economy?

By Lin Zhao-zhen

China Times, July 10, 2020

 

In the wake of “Triple Stimulus Vouchers” plan, the Council of Agriculture announced on July 9 that it will hand out 5 million copies of agri-tourism coupons to revitalize the agriculture. Immediately afterwards, Council of Culture, Hakka Affairs Council, and the Ministry of Education have also launched benefit plans one after another, aiming at activating the domestic tourism and the consumer markets affected by the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. On the same day, Premier Su Tseng-chang ordered the Executive Yuan to tabulate the assistance required by stressed enterprises and roll out a special economic relief budget proposal, namely Relief 3.0. Obviously, the economic outlook is not as good as the surface, otherwise why increase the budget by NT$200 million (about US$6.7 million)? By printing money  and rolling our relief vouchers, can Taiwan really avoid the awkward situation of layoffs and selling of restaurants?

 

read more

 

From: https://www.chinatimes.com/opinion/20200710005078-262105

This Week in Taiwan
Former President Ma Ying-jeou called upon the Kuomintang (KMT) to de-stigmatize the "1992 Consensus" and the concept of "one China, with respective interpretations." According to Ma, the 1992 Consensus does not mean "One Country, Two Systems."
(Photo from: The Storm Media)

July 5: Former President Ma Ying-jeou attended the closing ceremony of a Kuomintang (KMT) youth camp and called upon mainland China to recognize "one China, with respective interpretations" as the essence of the 1992 Consensus. According to Ma, the 1992 Consensus is the gentlest way for the mainland to acknowledge the existence of the Republic of China. He also urged the KMT to de-stigmatize the 1992 Consensus, and clarified that the 1992 Consensus is not equivalent to "One Country, Two Systems."  

July 7: Premier Su Tseng-chang announced that Taiwan will equip its elementary and junior high schools with air conditioning by the summer of 2022. Electric improvements and installation of air-conditioning will cost about NT$32.3 billion (about US$1 billion) and will be budged for in the second phase of the Forward-Looking Infrastructure Development Program. Based upon the local fiscal situation, the central government will subsidize 70 to 90 percent of the related costs.

July 10: The Legislative Yuan conducted a vote on the appointees to the Examination Yuan. The KMT and Taiwan People's Party (TPP) caucuses did not participate in the vote, and the New Power Party (NPP) caucus voted "no." Huang Jong-tsun and Chou Hung-hsien were confirmed as president and vice president of the Examination Yuan by a majority vote. Appointees to the National Communications Commission were also confirmed by a majority vote.

July 10: The Control Yuan released a breakdown of political contributions in the 2020 presidential election. Public relations constituted the largest area of spending for both the KMT and the Democratic Progressive party (DPP). A major sum went to political public relations firms which specialize in online marketing. Two public relations firm which are friendly to the DPP received 59 fees from President Tsai Ing-wen's campaign, totaling nearly NT$30 million (about US$1 million).

 
July 10: The Council of Agriculture (COA), Executive Yuan, stated that cattle nodule rash was reported in Kinmen on July 8. It is speculated that the cattle disease spread to Kinmen from China's Fujian Province. Effective July 10, a ban will be imposed on the importation of Kinmen beef to Taiwan, and efforts to disinfect ships and machines will be strengthened. This is the first case of cattle nodule rash reported in Taiwan. According to the COA, the Kinmen animal test site housed a total of 23 cattle, which have been slaughtered. Another 525 cattle will be slaughtered. No other cases were found in 47 other cattle farms within a radius of 3 kilometers.

July 10: The U.S. Department of State announced on July 10 arms sales to Taiwan totaling US$620 million, which includes extending the life of PAC-3 anti-aircraft missiles. This is the seventh arms sale to Taiwan under President Donald Trump.

July 11: The Directorate-General of Personnel Administration, Executive Yuan, prepared draft regulations on hired personnel. In the future, government posts may be filled by hires as well as traditional civil servants by examination. A hired person who meets relevant regulations may assume after three years of service official posts and become a "quasi-civil servant." The draft regulations have sparked controversy over harming the civil service system, allowing the incumbent government to fill its political supporters.
Taiwan Weekly is a newsletter released every week by Fair Winds Foundation and Association of Foreign Relations that provides coverage and perspectives into the latest developments in Taiwan.

The conclusions and recommendations of any Taiwan Weekly article are solely those of its author(s), and do not reflect the views of the institutions that publish the newsletter.

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