Wed, Feb 25, 2009 - Page 1 News List

Liu promises reshuffle if Cabinet misses GDP goal

By Flora Wang  /  STAFF REPORTER

The Cabinet will be reshuffled early next year if the nation’s economy shrinks more than 5 percent this year in spite of the government’s plan to boost investment in infrastructure, Premier Liu Chao-shiuan (劉兆玄) said yesterday.

During a question-and-answer session with Democratic Progressive Party Legislator Gao Jyh-peng (高志鵬), the premier said the government’s special four-year budget request totaling NT$500 billion (US$14.35 billion) was expected to help improve the nation’s economic growth by 1.02 percentage points each year.

Implementing the budget proposal could keep economic growth for this year at the expected minus 2.97 percent, the premier said.

On Wednesday last week, the Directorate-General of Budget, Accounting and Statistics said the economy contracted a record 8.36 percent in the final quarter of last year and was expected to shrink by a record 2.97 percent this year.

“If the plan completely fails, we will shoulder all responsibility for the failure because the plan was proposed by the Cabinet,” Liu said. “I think President Ma [Ying-jeou (馬英九)] would not accept such results. If we fail to achieve the goal we set, I know what I should do.”

In a question-and-answer session with Chinese Nationalist Party Legislator Lo Shu-lei (羅淑蕾) later yesterday, Liu said the Cabinet had continually improved its execution of policies.

He declined to say which Cabinet official he had the most confidence in.

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