Lin seeks support for tax reforms
Finance Minister Lin Chuan (林全) called for public support yesterday for the government's taxation reforms, stressing that the reforms are aimed ultimately at achieving low tax rates to boost economic growth.
Lin made the remarks while giving a speech at the Chunghua Association of Public Finance, after the government's minimum tax rates policy triggered opposition from the business sector.
The Legislative Yuan last week passed a law which requires companies that earn more than NT$2 million a year to pay between 10 percent and 20 percent in corporate income tax. Meanwhile, high-income individuals who earn more than NT$6 million per year are required to pay at least 20 percent in personal income tax.
Lin pointed out that the government's revenues as a ratio of gross domestic product have increased slightly in recent years, with the ratio rising from the 12.3 percent in 2002 to 13.9 percent in 2004, but that it was still lower than the 15.9 percent of the financially tight Japan.
Lin attributed the situation to the eroded tax base.
A non-governmental foundation presented awards yesterday for the 16 best essays in a contest held to increase local people's understanding and knowledge of the life of new immigrants in Taiwan and their own culture.
The 16 essays will be compiled into a book in an effort to raise public awareness of the issues concerning foreign spouses of Taiwan nationals, said Lee Yi-yang (李逸洋), director in chief of the New World Cultural and Educational Foundation.
There are currently over 320,000 foreign spouses of Taiwan citizens, with the new arrivals forming Taiwan's "fifth largest ethnic group," according to Lee.
The other so-called "ethnic groups" mentioned by Lee include Taiwan's aboriginal tribes, the Hakka people, settlers from southern China who arrived in Taiwan during the 16th century, and the mainland Chinese who came to the island at the time of the Nationalist government's relocation to Taiwan in 1949.
Energy supplies up
Energy supplies amounted to 112.57 million kiloliters of crude oil equivalents (KLOEs) for the first 10 months of this year, with locally produced energy increasing 5.5 percent year-on-year to 2.21 million KLOEs, the Directorate General of Budget, Accounting and Statistics reported yesterday.
Imported energy accounted for 110.36 million KLOEs, down 0.1 percent from the same time last year.
Meanwhile, energy consumption amounted to 88.52 million KLOEs for the January-October period, up 2.9 percent from the level for the same period a year earlier.