Premier Su Tseng-chang on Thursday received a National Development Council briefing on a new round of stimulus measures to combat the economic impacts of the pandemic. The government is putting forth these measures to help industries hit by recent rising domestic cases, such as the food and beverage, conferences and exhibitions, tourism, transportation, and art and culture industries. These measures will provide companies and workers with the support they need through three key avenues: assisting industries and workers, reducing economic burdens and stabilizing cash flows.
Since the beginning of the year, international cases of COVID-19 have surged, the premier said, but after crossing the peak of the pandemic, countries have one by one implemented policies to coexist with the virus. To balance the people's lives, livelihoods and the economy, Taiwan's government adopted a new approach to simultaneously promote normal life, active disease prevention and steady lifting of restrictions. The rise in COVID cases was thus predicted and inevitable. Currently, due to the higher case numbers, many citizens are going out less often for meals or recreational travel, which has particularly affected certain industries, such as those involved in food and beverages, conferences and exhibitions, tourism, transportation, and art and culture. This newest set of stimulus measures will—by assisting industries and workers, reducing economic burdens and stabilizing cash flows—provide the necessary support to alleviate impacts on these industries.
Regarding assistance for industries and workers, the government will provide subsidies to heavily impacted industries. The Ministry of Labor also rolled out three programs early on in the pandemic to help workers placed on furlough or shorter working hours, including a program to train workers and upgrade their skills, a program to partially subsidize lost wages, and a program to provide hourly wage jobs that serve public interests. These initiatives, plus a youth employment rewards program, will all be extended through the end of June 2023.
To reduce burdens, the measure to reduce rent and royalty payments on state-owned property by 20% will be extended through year-end. The premier also agreed to extend tax cuts on key raw materials and commodities and maintain the price freeze on liquefied petroleum gas through the end of September.
As for stabilizing cash flows, relief and stimulus loans for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and non-SMEs, as well as loan interest subsidies for tourism businesses, large arts and cultural companies, and performance groups, will all be extended.
The premier instructed ministries and agencies to conduct rolling reviews of their measures based on the pandemic's developments and respond appropriately to help affected businesses and people get through this difficult time.