KMT meet will not be 'amicable'
By Enru Lin, The China PostThe China Post--Discontent is brewing within the Kuomintang (KMT) as the Legislature prepares to vote on the stock gains tax this Wednesday. By all appearances, Tuesday's party caucus assembly “won't be too amicable,” said a member of the Legislature's Finance Committee (財政委員會).
July 23, 2012, 12:14 am TWN
The KMT legislative caucus holds its general assembly on Tuesday. In Tuesday's meeting, legislators will rule on whether to use party discipline to enforce the party line in the upcoming special-session votes.
The enforcement resolution may not pass if enough district KMT legislators attend, said a Finance Committee legislator who spoke on condition of anonymity.
The source said that “very, very few” KMT legislators are completely sold on the KMT's version of the stock gains tax draft, and that “many” district legislators believe that the present is not the right time to introduce its taxation program.
The atmosphere in Tuesday's meeting “won't be too amicable,” he continued.
According to party regulations, party discipline may be used to promote major policies, but such use must be approved by the caucus assembly. The KMT considers the stock gains tax and the ractopamine ban to be major issues that are eligible for promotion through party discipline.
As Good as It Gets
KMT Legislator Lai Shyh-bao (賴士葆) said yesterday that the party's current version of the stock gains tax draft is as “flexible as it can be.”
“It should have a limited impact on the stock market,” he said.
Lai stressed that if the tax scheme does not pass, President Ma Ying-jeou will face an uphill battle in the remaining years of his term.
But KMT Legislator Lo Ming-tsai (羅明才) said that passing the draft would be a blow against the party and Ma himself.
If the party departs from the stream of public opinion, the party will decline, he said.
Lo added that Ma's chief project is to stimulate the economy, but local tycoons such as Morris Chang (張忠謀) have said the party's tax scheme would be ill-timed and potentially deleterious to the market.
Legislative Speaker Wang Jin-pyng is set to open a round of cross-party negotiations today. Ruling and opposition lawmakers will schedule some 30 bills that are not controversial and which should pass easily in the extraordinary legislative session, said Lin Hung-chih (林鴻池) of the KMT's Central Policy Committee (政策會).