By Camaron Kao ,The China Post
The Kuomintang (KMT) caucus in the Legislative Yuan yesterday proposed to halt discussion of the Executive Yuan’s draft of the stock gains tax until the next session, drawing fire from the opposition. With legislators unable to reach a consensus, the issue will be dealt with again in the assembly on Friday. KMT Legislator Wu Yu-Sheng (吳育昇) proposed that discussion of the stock gains tax be delayed until the next session as the current session has only one month remaining. This is the first time legislators have proposed postponing discussion on a draft from the Executive Yuan, Wu said. The legislator further suggested that discussion of other versions of the stock gains tax also be delayed. People First Party (PFP) caucus whip Lee Tung-hao (李桐豪) disagreed, stating that the PFP has the right to propose a new draft and there was no reason to delay such an action just because the KMT wants to hold back the Executive Yuan’s version. Lee said he suspected that the KMT was coming under pressure from interest groups over the tax. Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) legislators also disagreed, saying that the proposal to delay discussion indicated that the government proposed the draft at the wrong time. President Caught by Surprise When asked whether the premier and the finance minister were aware of the proposal to delay arguments over the bill, KMT Legislator Lin Hung-chih (林鴻池) replied that this was the opinion of KMT legislators and it was not necessary to report to the premier and the finance minister. Some commentators suggested that President Ma Ying-jeou had no idea legislators would propose to delay discussion, and said that the move was a slap in the face of KMT officials by the lawmakers. Because of the lack of dialogue between the government and legislators before the draft came out, legislators decided to act against the will of the Executive Yuan. When receiving this information, Presidential Office Spokesman Fan Chiang Tai-chi (范姜泰基) stated that the president’s position on social justice and support for the principle of taxing wealthier people more remains unchanged. The president communicated with Legislative Yuan Speaker Wang Jin-pyng, (王金平) Premier Sean Chen immediately after learning of events in the Legislative Yuan, the spokesperson said.
According to Fan Chiang, the president demanded the Executive Yuan communicate with industries and investors to facilitate scheduling the discussion of the stock gains tax in the Legislative Yuan. Ministry of Finance Minister Christina Liu (劉憶如) will give a report on the stock gains tax today at a KMT party meeting.