《TAIPEI TIMES》 Next stimulus round should be digital: DPP
Democratic Progressive Party （DPP） Legislator Chung Chia-pin, left, participates with fellow DPP legislators in an online news conference yesterday urging the government to use digital vouchers for its proposed stimulus program. Photo: Chien Hui-ju, Taipei Times
By Chien Hui-ju and Jake Chung / Staff reporter, with staff writer
The Executive Yuan should prepare digital stimulus vouchers and earmark funding for a stimulus program that should start once the COVID-19 situation has eased, Democratic Progressive Party （DPP） legislators told an online news conference yesterday.
DPP Legislator Chung Chia-pin （鍾佳濱） said that issuing vouchers would be an effective means for the government to stimulate a post-COVID-19 economic recovery.
“Digital vouchers” of small denominations should be issued rather than paper ones, as they would make it easier for smaller businesses to handle payments, he said.
The program should target the needs of the food and beverage sector, retailers, firms in the travel industry, and the arts and humanities sector, he said.
The program should seek to help small businesses affected by the outbreak and incentivize smaller purchases instead of big-ticket spending, he said.
Contactless payments using digital vouchers would be more convenient than paper vouchers and help lower the risk of COVID-19 infection, DPP Legislator Lin Chu-yin （林楚茵） said.
Last year’s Triple Stimulus Voucher program cost the government NT$1 billion （US$35.8 million）, including packaging, delivery and printing, she said, adding that digital vouchers lower the share of spending that does not benefit the public.
The Act Governing Electronic Payment Institutions （電子支付機構管理條例） sets safe standards for the easy flow of digital payments, and the government should recognize the role e-payment platforms have taken on for many Taiwanese, she said.
Digital vouchers would also push the development of a “green” financial system and the local fintech industry, she said.
Stimulus programs should start only when the COVID-19 situation has eased, DPP Legislator Hsu Chih-chieh （許智傑） said, adding that the scope and aims of a program should be debated by the Executive Yuan.
Hsu said he believed that more people would opt for digital vouchers this time, compared with just 13 percent when the Triple Stimulus Vouchers were issued.
The National Development Council said that it would look into the matter.