TAIPEI (Reuters) – Prime Minister Su Tseng-chang announced Wednesday that Taiwan plans to offer cash payments of nearly $200 to every citizen this year, saying the island’s economic growth will be shared by all.
The export-driven economy, a global technology powerhouse for products including semiconductor chips, grew 6.45% in 2021, the fastest rate since its 10.25% expansion in 2010.
While economic growth is expected to slow in 2022 and 2023, the government has laid out plans to plow an additional NT$380 billion (US$12.4 billion) in tax revenue from last year into the economy to help protect the island from global economic shocks, including it subsidies. For electricity, labor and health insurance rates.
Su said a total of NT$140 billion, part of the tax revenue, will be spent as cash payments and each citizen will receive NT$6,000 (US$195.61).
“The fruits of the economic achievements will be shared by all citizens, from young to old,” Su told reporters, adding that a potential push requires approval by parliament, where the ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) has a majority.
“We wish to give all citizens a New Year’s blessing after the start of the Lunar New Year,” Su told reporters, referring to the week-long holiday that begins on Jan. 20.
He gave no details of how the government would deliver the payments.
Taiwan is a major producer of semiconductors used in everything from cars and smartphones to fighter jets. Its economy has continued to grow steadily during the COVID-19 pandemic in recent years, helped by strong demand for chips on consumer electronics as more people work from home.
Taiwan’s central bank in December lowered its 2022 GDP growth estimate to 2.91% from its previous forecast of 3.51% in September.
For 2023, I expected GDP to grow by 2.53%. The economy grew 4.01% in the third quarter from the previous year.
$1 = 30.6740 Taiwan dollars)
(Reporting by Yimou Lee and Jeanny Kao) Editing by Jacqueline Wong
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