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Taiwan discussing longer New Year holiday to boost consumption

Taiwan discussing longer New Year holiday to boost consumption

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – The government said it was discussing a proposal from ruling Kuomintang lawmakers Tuesday to extend the January 1 New Year holiday in order to spur consumption and stimulate the economy.
The proposal comes on top of an NT$83.5 billion plan to distribute vouchers worth NT$3,600 next year to boost domestic consumption.
Since next January 1 falls on a Thursday, it would be logical to give people Friday January 2 off as well, resulting in a four-day holiday, KMT lawmaker Lo Shu-lei said at a news conference.
The proposal foresees that people make up for the extra day off by working another day extra later in the year.
The cabinet’s Central Personnel Administration said it was meeting with representatives from other government departments, including the Ministries of Finance and Economic Affairs, to discuss the proposal. Consultations had already taken place with representatives from business and education circles, and opinion was nearly equally divided between supporters and opponents, the CPA said.
Within two days, the Executive Yuan would be notified of its decision, the CPA said.
Earlier Tuesday, Premier Liu Chao-shiuan told reporters the cabinet could consider such a proposal, though he said the previous Democratic Progressive Party administration had decided in principle not to give Fridays off when public holidays fell on Thursdays.
The CPA denied it had told KMT lawmakers that arranging such a holiday needed four months of preparation. The government was announcing the date of official holidays four months in advance to allow the public to plan trips and weddings, the administration said.
Needing four months to prepare showed the government was ineffectual, because previous cabinets managed to extend holidays in 2006 with less than one month to go, KMT lawmaker Lee Ching-hua said earlier.
In a first reaction to the proposal, the opposition Democratic Progressive Party said it approved.
Many small and medium enterprises already let their employees stay home one day for every three days of work because of the economic slump, so they won’t mind introducing a longer New Year holiday, lawmaker Lee Chun-yee said.
DPP legislator Chiu Yi-ying said the government only needed two days to invent the consumption coupon plan, so there was no need for four months to prepare an extra one day off.


Updated : 2021-10-27 18:27 GMT+08:00