Taipei Mayor Jumps On Benefits Bandwagon

24 Hours After Economic Package Announced By National Government

The mayor of Taiwan’s capital city, Taipei on Wednesday added to central government measures aimed at easing economic strain felt by city residents.

Ko Wen-je, mayor of Taipei since 2014, has included some tax breaks and rent reductions in his plan according to online reports. Cuts in utilities for businesses were also included.

The proposals come a day after cuts on banking sector loans, increases in personal benefits, and financial help for the travel industry were announced at the national level.

Water Rate Cuts

A 15% cut on water bills for many private sector businesses in the city will be increased to 50% for hotels joining a scheme known as ‘quarantine hotels’, the city government say. Quarantine hotels are used to house those undergoing 14 days of isolation.

Hospitals setting aside a portion of their own premises in the same manner will also qualify for a 50% cut on water rates.

For those already affected by the COVID-19 pandemic to the tune of a 15% drop in monthly earnings compared to the same time last year, tax deferments of 12 months will be possible – upon application.

City Housing Rent Cuts

Residents of government housing in the city  will enjoy a 50% rent cut for a period of three months ending in May; a policy the mayor indicated could continue into the summer depending on whether or not the coronavirus remains at pandemic levels two months from now.

In one measure that could help those really struggling on the back of the pandemic, Mayor Ko announced that his government is teaming up with the local Taipei Fubon Bank, a private entity in which the local government is a majority shareholder, to offer cash loans to its customers.

Entertainment Sector Cuts On Hold

Details on further measures being considered to help the city’s entertainment industries at this time, such as cuts in entertainment tax are still being planned, but have yet to be announced

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