Radio Taiwan International
The Cabinet has passed amendments to a national long-term health care bill. The changes increase
inheritance and cigarette taxes to pave the way for what is being called Long-Term Care 2.0, to begin on January 1, 2017.
The program aims to meet the needs of a rapidly aging society. It involves the establishment of nearly 500 integrated community service centers, about 830 daily care centers for seniors, and more than 2,500 neighborhood care stations.
Deputy Health Minister Lu Pau-ching discussed the amendments on Thursday, when they were passed. She said the tax increases will generate enough revenue in the first stage of the program to pay for long-term care facilities and personnel. Lu said, “Increasing [inheritance tax] from 10% to 20% will generate about NT$6 billion (US$190 million). And by increasing the cigarette tax by NT$20 (US$0.64) per pack, that will generate about NT$15.8 billion (about US$190 million). Together that will help reach our budget goal of NT$33 billion (a little over US$1 billion) for the first stage.”
Lu said that after the program is implemented for a year or two, the budget can be reevaluated to decide whether more funding is needed. [FULL STORY]