Back to list

Capital gains tax bill unlikely to pass soon: Legislative speaker

2012/05/23 19:07:45

Taipei, May 23 (CNA) Legislative Yuan Speaker Wang Jin-pyng expressed doubt Wednesday that legislation aimed at imposing a tax on stock market gains will be finalized during the current legislative session.

"There is huge uncertainty," he said in response to media inquiries on the issue.

The Legislative Yuan will enter its summer recess at the end of May.

Asked about ruling Kuomintang (KMT) Central Committee member Sean Lien, who has made public his opposition to the tax, which is supported by President and KMT Chairman Ma Ying-jeou, Wang declined to comment.

He also declined to divulge his own thoughts on the proposed tax, saying that to do so would be improper.

Wang said that in his post, it is his duty to host inter-party negotiations on controversial bills and he speculated that the legislative caucuses of the opposition parties will seek such talks on the controversial tax bill in an attempt to achieve a consensus.

During any such negotiations, he pointed out, he is required to remain neutral.

The idea of imposing a capital gains tax on stock transactions was initiated by Finance Minister Christina Liu after she assumed office Feb. 6 to make good on a pledge by Ma to promote tax reform and taxation fairness.

The proposal, however, drew opposition from investors and stock brokerage firms.

On May 11, a bill drafted by the Cabinet, as well as other versions proposed by lawmakers, made their way to the legislative Finance Committee for review, thanks to Ma's prompting.

While the Ma administration is reported to want the legislation to pass before June, KMT Legislator Hsu Yao-chang, a caucus whip, made it clear Wednesday that "the caucus has never said it must pass in June."

Hsu's counterpart from the opposition Democratic Progressive Party, Legislator Pan Men-an, said it will not be necessary to hold an extraordinary legislative session to deal with the tax bill.

(By Ho Meng-kuei, Sherry Tang and Elizabeth Hsu)