Tue, Nov 25, 2003 - Page 3 News List

DPP lawmakers support premier's spending plan


A spending plan of NT$500 billion over the next five years presented by the premier yesterday received full backing from the Democratic Progressive Party's (DPP) lawmakers, a DPP legislator said yesterday.

"The entire DPP caucus expressed unqualified support for the plan after hearing the briefing by Premier Yu Shyi-kun and his officials," said Chiu Chui-chen (邱垂貞).

Yu visited the legislature a few hours after he released the plan at the Neihu Science-based Industrial Park, where he discussed its contents with DPP lawmakers.

Chiu acknowledged that "some DPP legislators were surprised by the announcement because they had not been informed about the plan in advance."

"Members of the caucus made their decision to push through the passage of the spending plan after they came to a full understanding of it," he said.

But the response from the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) caucus was more guarded.

"The KMT is happy to see that the DPP has finally diverted its focus from political issues to reviving the economy four months before the presidential election," said KMT whip Lee Chia-chin (李嘉進).

Lee warned however that the legislature would not subject the proposed bill to further procedures because lawmakers were busy reviewing the budget for next year.

The bill would not be advanced at the legislature until next month, when lawmakers will have finished dealing with the budget, according to Lee.

He said the KMT was thinking of making the spending plan a referendum issue so that voters could make the final decision on the Cabinet's proposal.

"The KMT thinks that voters should be the ultimate arbiter on the spending plan as the projects presented by the DPP government today extend five years beyond Chen Shui-bian's (陳水扁) term," Lee said.

The People First Party (PFP) declined to comment on the Cabinet's plan, instead presenting its own version. The PFP model said that Taiwan should be divided into four regions to further regional development.

Each region should have its own international airport and harbor, in addition to a separate water supply, according to PFP representatives.

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