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Taiwan to Form Group to Overhaul Taxes Amid Wealth, Budget Gaps

Feb. 20 (Bloomberg) -- Taiwan said it will establish a taskforce to overhaul the island’s tax system as the government strives to narrow a wealth gap and tackle the budget deficit.

“The move is to fulfill President Ma’s promise of creating a fair and just society and to ensure a sound fiscal condition,” Finance Minister Christina Liu said at a briefing in Taipei today. The group will be formed by mid-March and the ministry aims to start implementing changes by the middle of September, she said.

President Ma Ying-jeou, who was elected for a second term last month, pledged during campaigning to narrow disparities in wealth that have stirred discontent. The 20-person taskforce will be made up of government officials, businessmen and academics, Liu said.

Taiwan’s export-led economy contracted for the second straight quarter in the three months through December, shrinking 0.25 percent from the third quarter and tipping the island into a recession as Europe’s debt crisis curbed demand.

To contact the reporters on this story: Yu-Huay Sun in Taipei at ysun7@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Stephanie Phang in Singapore at sphang@bloomberg.net

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