The local administration remain optimistic but says the plan must not endanger the financial stability of the township.
Presenter: Hualien County's Xiulin Township Representatives Association is calling on the township office to distribute relief funds of up to NT$5,000 to the town's 15,000 residents.
Many Xiulin Township residents have lost their jobs and businesses since COVID-19 started and the township's 11 representatives are calling for relief payments of NT$2,000-5,000 per person.
Xiulin Township Resident 1:”I can't find work because of the epidemic. This kind of payment can stimulate the economy and help low-income families and unemployed people.”
Xiulin Township Resident 2:” Are we really getting it? How much are we getting? Everyone's talking about it but no one has any confirmation on the amount.”
The township handed out NT$2,000 per person last year and plans to increase the amount this year. With 15,000 residents, the payments would cost the township over NT$100 million. The township office is optimistic but realistic at the same time.
Xiulin Township Resident 3:” (Did it make a big difference when you got NT$2,000 last year?) No. (Was it too much?) A little.”
Wang Mei-kuei, Xiulin Township Chief:”What's most important is whether we have the funds to go ahead with this without affecting other programs.”
The office says it will submit a proposal to the representatives committee in October and see what its budget will allow. The payments would be distributed next January at the earliest. Of Hualien's 13 townships, Xiulin is the only one able to make this kind of allocation because it gets rebates from Taiwan Cement and Asia Cement.