OPINION: Taiwan Has an Unhealthy Obsession With Tax Cuts

Tax cuts are always popular with voters, but do they really help Taiwan’s low-income residents?

The News Lens
Date: 2019/02/11
By: 2019/02/11

Credit: CNA

The anti-automobile Paris Mayor Anna Hidalgo recently introduced public transportation discounts for teenagers, part of her plans to have a completely free metro service. During an interview with the center-left newspaper La Libération, she said that her plans to build a better Paris started with making the Paris Metro free for children between four to 11 years old and will follow that up in 2020 with free metro travel for all people with disabilities under the age of 20.

The free public transport policy has been questioned by opposition politicians as they believe that a free subway service will not only create overcrowding, but would also increase the financial burden of the city – and would therefore not fully fit in with Hidalgo’s dream of “exiling cars out of Paris.” Her detractors also think that the best policy would be to instead improve the sorry state of the old and deteriorating Paris Metro with basic infrastructure upgrades and the introduction of new train cars.

At this point in time, Hidalgo has reaffirmed her free subway policy, undoubtedly with an eye on the Paris mayoral elections in 2020, as she hopes to rally support from left wing and younger voters to help her bid of being be re-elected as the mayor of the capital.

Credit: Reuters / TPGParis Mayor Anna Hidalgo.
Does this sound like a familiar story? Let’s return our focus to Taiwan. After the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP)’s failure in the November 2018 9-in-1 elections, they immediately announced the latest edition of tax cuts, which mean that in May this year, when taxes have to be filed, certain demographics will be exempt from income tax. They are: single people with monthly salaries of less than NT$30,000 (US$972), families with total annual incomes of less than NT$816,000 (US$26,445) and families with two children under the age of five and earning less than NT$1.232 million (US$39,925)

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