Taipei, Jan. 11 (CNA) The Legislative Yuan passed an amendment bill Wednesday that stipulates hikes in estate and gift tax and in cigarette tax, and that the increased tax revenues will be funneled into the government's long-term care program.
The amendment to the Long-term Care Services Act says that in terms of financial sources for long-term care services, they will be expanded by doubling the estate and gift tax rate from the current 10 percent to 20 percent, and raising the cigarette tax by NT$20 (US$0.63) per pack of 20 cigarettes from NT$11.8 to NT$30.8.
The tax hikes were proposed by the executive branch to ensure that the long-term care program is supported by a stable financial source.
The Ministry of Finance has estimated that the tax rate hikes will provide additional revenue to the tune of about NT$28.8 billion annually that can be funneled into the long-term care program.
With the government's planned budget of NT$17.7 billion for long-term care services in 2017, there will be enough funds for the establishment of long-term care facilities in the near future, said Legislator Wu Yu-chin (吳玉琴) of the ruling Democratic Progressive Party after the passage of the amendment bill.
(By Wen Kuei-hsiang and Elizabeth Hsu)