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KMT's Ma criticized over economic proposals

Democratic Progressive Party presidential candidate Frank Hsieh (謝長廷) criticized the proposal by rival Kuomintang nomineee Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) to pump nearly NT$2.7 trillion in public funds into 12 "Love Taiwan" infrastructure projects in order to boost annual economic growth to six percent as "bankrupt economics" yesterday.
Speaking to a news conference at his "Taiwan Renovation" campaign headquarters, Hsieh stated that Ma's stated that Ma's "633" plan to realize six percent annual economic growth, lower the unemployment rate to three percent and boost the per capita income to US$30,000 by 2016" was actually a form of "bankruptcy economics."
Hsieh stated that Ma's call to maintain annual growth of six percent without revision due to factors such as the subprime mortgage crisis "lacked rigor" and was "rash."
Fiscal resources
Referring to Ma's proposal to invest NT$4 trillion in 12 "Love Taiwan" projects during the coming eight years, including NT$1.35 trillion in private funds and NT$2.65 trillion in public funds, Hsieh stated that Ma had failed to explain where the fiscal resources for the plan would be acquired.
The former premier related that the annual central government budget was approximately NT$1.6 trillion and that capital expenditures were limited to about 20 percent, which meant an annual capital investment allocation of NT$320 billion or a total of NT$2.6 trillion over eight years.
"All other sectors for public investments, including education, national defense and social welfare will be squeezed out," said Hsieh, who stated that Ma should state clearly how the program would be funded and what areas of public investment would have to be cut to realize his plan.
"If Ma does not explain this clearly, every vote for Ma would be equivalent to giving him a blank check for NT$100,000," said the DPP candidate.
Hsieh related that he, his vice presidential running mate and former premier Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌) and current DPP premier Chang Chun-hsiung (張俊雄) every year faced great difficulty in keeping down the government deficit because of the expanding needs and tight revenues and warned that Ma's plan would "require a revision in the public debt ceiling and compel following generations bear this debt."
Moreover, the DPP candidate also questioned the need to add such a large public investment stimulus to realize six percent annual growth, noting that last year's inflation-adjusted expansion in gross domestic product had reached 5.7 percent.
We are governing party and many polices are already being carried out, such as 95 percent guaranteed procurement price for agricultural produce, and stated that the details of policy implementation could change depending on actual situations.
"We should explain our direction for our term," said Hsieh, who criticized Ma for putting forward a proposal for the promotion of a cross-strait common market and then stating that the concept would not be realized for a decade or more after the notion was criticized.
"If this proposal is not going to be realized for over a decade, then why discuss it now?" asked Hsieh, saying that Ma was "irresponsible."

Updated : 2021-04-20 07:08 GMT+08:00