CORONAVIRUS/Stimulus vouchers to be available to residency permit holders: source

05/31/2020 02:31 PM
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CNA file photo
CNA file photo

Update: June 2-Taiwan nationals, foreign spouses to receive stimulus vouchers

Taipei, May 31 (CNA) A stimulus voucher program set to be rolled out in July to boost consumption will be available to not only Taiwanese citizens but also foreign nationals and Chinese spouses who hold residency permits in the country, a source familiar with the matter told CNA Sunday.

Taiwan's government is currently fine tuning the details of the program, which will involve issuing vouchers to the public for in-store purchases in a bid to revive consumer buying amid the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic.

During a radio interview on May 25, National Development Council (NDC) Minister Kung Ming-hsin (龔明鑫) said the plan is to allow anyone, regardless of age or income level, to buy NT$3,000 worth of vouchers for NT$1,000 (US$32.9). These can then be used to shop at stores, buy train tickets and pay taxi fares.

However, Kung did not specify whether all Taiwan residents or only citizens would be eligible to obtain the vouchers.

Asked to comment, a source familiar with the matter told CNA Sunday that foreign nationals, including Chinese spouses married to Taiwanese citizens who have obtained residency permits, will also be able to buy the vouchers.

Meanwhile, the NT$3,000-worth of vouchers, which will be issued in both paper and electronic form, will be available free to 1.2 million mid-to-low-income households who cannot afford NT$1,000, the source said.

The preliminary plan is that people will be able to buy the vouchers at post offices across the country. Consideration is also being given to allow the pre-ordering of vouchers online to be picked up at nearby convenience stores, according to the source.

Those who choose to take advantage of the stimulus program in the form of electronic or credit card payment will receive a NT$2,000 refund after spending NT$3,000, the source added.

The stimulus voucher program is expected to cost the country NT$50 billion, including printing the vouchers and related administrative costs, according to the source.

The final version of the program will be announced by Premier Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌) on June 2 before it is rolled out in time for the school summer vacation which starts July 15.

(By Ku Chuan and Joseph Yeh)

Enditem/AW

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