KMT's Hou proposes raising Taiwan's minimum monthly wage to NT$33,000
Taipei, Sept. 8 (CNA) Taiwan's main opposition Kuomintang presidential candidate, Hou Yu-ih (侯友宜), on Friday unveiled a slew of proposals he aims to introduce if elected, including taxing the rich and raising the minimum monthly wage incrementally to NT$33,000 (US$1,028).
Since President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) took office in 2016, she pledged to increase Taiwan's minimum monthly wage to NT$30,000, but that is clearly not going to happen, Hou said at a press conference.
If elected into office, the New Taipei Mayor proposed to raise the minimum wage incrementally to NT$33,000. The current minimum monthly wage in Taiwan is NT$26,400.
Hou stated that he would cut in half the amount of income tax paid by workers whose annual net income is below NT$ 560,000 and whose salary income constitutes more than 70 percent of their taxable total income.
The deduction for parents with children aged 12 and under will be raised by 50 percent, from the current NT$92,000 to NT$138,000 per child, Hou said, adding that the goal was to alleviate the financial challenges young parents are facing.
At the press conference, Hou also touched on expanding the government's existing policy of providing the tax deductions small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) get for increasing worker wages to include publicly listed companies and raising the tax-deductible rates for the companies that implement pay hikes.
Meanwhile, the KMT presidential candidate spoke about the need to tax the wealthy, as the gap between rich and poor continues to widen.
Individuals whose annual net income exceeds NT$10 million and whose salary makes up less than 30 percent of their income will be subject to a 45 percent income tax rate and face a 32 percent tax rate for dividend income if they choose to calculate the tax on earnings from the stock market separately, Hou said.
Currently, Taiwan's income tax system is based on progressive tax rates, divided into five brackets ranging from 5 to 40 percent. Individuals in the highest bracket have the option to calculate their tax on dividend income using a single tax rate of 28 percent.
Lin Chu-chia (林祖嘉), a convenor for the KMT's National Policy Foundation's economic division, said more than 10,000 households would be affected if the wealth tax was implemented.
But, Taiwan could generate an additional revenue of NT$15 billion from this wealth tax, Lin added.
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