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Energy tax not yet decided: Cabinet

2012/08/18 19:57:58

Taipei, Aug. 18 (CNA) The government has not yet decided whether to levy an energy tax, Cabinet spokesman Hu Yu-wei said Saturday amid concerns that a tax on power use will soon be introduced.

"We have not made a final decision,”Hu said at a press conference after a meeting held at the Executive Yuan to discuss energy policies.

Quoting Premier Sean Chen, who presided over the three-hour closed-door meeting, Hu said that further evaluations will focus on "whether energy use efficiency can be improved through taxation.”

The government is also concerned about how an energy tax could affect the economy and cause fluctuations in commodity prices, the spokesman added.

“An energy tax is one of the tools that could be used to achieve the government’s energy policy objectives,”Hu said, quoting Finance Minister Chang Sheng-ford, who addressed concerns raised by industry representatives at the meeting.

The Finance Ministry will study the feasibility based on environmental sustainability, low-carbon targets, energy development policies and tax revenue, Hu quoted Chang as saying.

“It’s not all about money,” Hu said, brushing off public speculation that the government’s decision to levy the tax is based primarily on generating revenue.

The meeting was the second in a series of five being held by the Cabinet to solve the challenges faced by local businesses in the face of the global economic recession. About 20 representatives from industries such as steel, iron, chemistry and electronics attended the event.

(By Nancy Liu)