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September 27, 2017

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More holidays stimulate economic growth: Chu

TAIPEI, Taiwan -- The central government may consider setting up more national holidays, which is likely to stimulate economic activities, New Taipei City Mayor Eric Chu (朱立倫) said yesterday.

The government rolled out consumption vouchers to the public several years ago in an effort to simulate local economy. Chu said that launching more holidays are likely to produce the same effect.

This year, the Lantern Festival is on Friday, Feb. 14. Chu said that the central government may consider setting it up as a national holiday.

Chu reiterated the remark he made a couple of days earlier, when he said that "even the Chinese government understands that holidays are necessary to stimulate the economy." China is more flexible about its holiday policies, Chu said, adding that China's 11-day national holiday is regarded as an important consumption season by the market.

Chu has recently lashed out at the central government, by criticizing the government as "rigid," and for making serious mistakes in the development of local industry. Some suspect that it is a move to prepare himself for a "higher position" in the government, to which Chu denied. Some see Chu as a potential candidate for the 2016 presidential election.

Chu said on Tuesday that while in power, the Democratic Progressive Party made catastrophic mistakes in proposing the Two Trillion & Twin Star plan, which allocated resources exclusively to high tech industries and did not bear fruit.

Chu said that for the past decade, the government has allocated national resources to advantaged industries. Despite the fact that traditional non-high tech and consumer goods industries employ the largest population, they were left behind because of the government's inappropriate policies, Chu said, adding that more holidays will encourage consumption and thus help the latter two industries.

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