Thu, Sep 30, 2004 - Page 3 News List

TSU slams aid for students in China


The government should cut educational subsidies for children of Taiwanese businessmen in China, the Taiwan Solidarity Union (TSU) legislative caucus said yesterday.

The caucus alleged the Ministry of Education gives children of Taiwanese businessmen in China NT$39,000 per year in subsidies, while only subsidizing Taiwanese businessmen with children in Southeast Asia NT$1,200.

It said that the ministry had prepared a budget of NT$67.78 million in addition to a Mainland Affairs Council budget of NT$7 million to subsidize children of Taiwanese businessmen in China.

The caucus urged the ministry to treat overseas pupils equally.

TSU caucus whip Chen Chien-ming (陳建銘) said the ministry had adopted an unreasonable priority in subsidizing Taiwanese students overseas ahead of students in Taiwan.

"Businessmen who have invested in China without the approval of the government are not paying taxes in Taiwan, but they can still enjoy subsidies. Apparently the ministry's policy has loopholes," Chen said.

"The government is offering attractive educational subsidies to Taiwanese businessmen in China while it doesn't do so for ordinary citizens in Taiwan. This is encouraging Taiwanese to invest in China," Chen said.

But the ministry later defended itself by saying the TSU had gotten its numbers wrong.

The ministry said the government had subsidized six overseas Taiwanese schools between NT$4 million and NT$9 million each year, while last year the government prepared a budget for other overseas students of NT$40.54 million, which came to a subsidy of about NT$23,000 per student per year, and not NT$1,200 as the TSU had asserted.

The ministry also said that it had not begun to subsidize the two Taiwanese schools in China until this year.

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