Fri, May 07, 2004 - Page 4 News List

Court orders Taipei City to pay up or lose various assets

By Jewel Huang  /  STAFF REPORTER

The Taipei City Government was yesterday ordered to pay back without delay NT$10.7 billion in health insurance subsidies accrued since 2000 to the Bureau of National Health Insurance, or have the Department of Adminis-trative Enforcement under the Ministry of Justice collateralize its non-public property.

The order was made by the Taipei Administrative High Court in turning down an administrative lawsuit filed by the city government, according to which the government did not owe the bureau the money.

City government spokesman Wu Yu-sheng (吳育昇) said the city government was disappointed by the court's verdict and will appeal the ruling.

"The city government never refused to pay the health insurance subsidy to the central government," Wu said after court.

"The reason we did not pay the money was because the Bureau of National Health Insurance's accounting has violated the Health Insurance Law (健保法) and we think this is unfair to the city government."

In February, the Department of Administrative Enforcement rejected the city government's proposal of a 10-year installment plan to pay off the debts of NT$10.7 billion. The city government did not accept the ruling and filed an administrative lawsuit on March 4. The Taipei Administrative High Court turned down the lawsuit yesterday.

The city's Law and Regulation Commission Director Chen Ching-hsiu (陳清秀) argued that the city government did not have to pay all that money to the central government, because many people who worked for the city government did not live in Taipei. However, the Bureau of National Health Insurance asked the city government to pay their health insurance, which is unfair, he said.

The city's Bureau of Finance Director Lee Sush-der (李述德) said it was inappropriate for the department to seize the city gov-ernment's non-public property because it would impact the general public's rights.

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