Taiwan mulls ‘spend NT$1,000, get NT$3,000’ stimulus measure

Spending incentive aimed to boost economic activity amid coronavirus fallout

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People wear face masks to help curb the spread of the coronavirus as they visit a night market in Taipei, May 3, 2020. 

People wear face masks to help curb the spread of the coronavirus as they visit a night market in Taipei, May 3, 2020.  (AP photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — The head of Taiwan’s top policy-making body on Monday (May 25) hinted at plans to implement a spending incentive that will see consumers given NT$3,000 (US$100) for spending NT$1,000.

National Development Council (NDC) Minister Kung Ming-hsin (龔明鑫) said on a radio show that the government is mulling distributing “stimulus vouchers” to encourage consumption in a bid to boost an economy hit by the coronavirus (COVID-19), reported Liberty Times.

While details are still being hammered out, the proposal to “pay NT$1,000, earn NT$3,000” is under serious consideration, he said. Everyone will be entitled to the incentive, regardless of financial status, he added.

The stimulus voucher will be doled out in the form of hard copies, electronic tickets, mobile payments, or credit card payments. Citizens will be able to select whichever method suits them starting in July, when the incentive is likely to be implemented, wrote CNA.

The official stressed that the measure favors vouchers as a means to help revive the economy since people may not be as willing to spend cash handouts. The vouchers would be redeemable at brick-and-mortar retailers and night markets and could also be used to pay transportation fares, such as taxi and train services.

Kung assured disadvantaged individuals and low-income families, who may find paying NT$1,000 to be a burden, that other stimulus options will be forthcoming.