Tue, Nov 02, 2004 - Page 3 News List

KMT wants compensation for government ineptness


The Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) caucus yesterday proposed a draft statute to dun what they claimed was needed compensation from the government for the losses incurred when the government pulled the plug on plans for a Fourth Nuclear Power Plant in 2000.

"Mistaken policy is worse than corruption," said KMT whip Tseng Yung-chuan (曾永權), adding that the Executive Yuan shouldered an unavoidable responsibility for the decline of the nation's coffers because of its mistakes in policy making.

The KMT caucus expressed hope of pushing the draft through today's Procedure Committee in time to make it for review during Friday's legislative session.

While the move was seen by some as aimed to counter the Democratic Progressive Party government's pursuing the issue of KMT party assets, KMT caucus whip Huang Teh-fu (黃德福) stressed that the draft was motivated by their "sense of obligation to take good care of the taxpayers' money."

According to the proposed draft, the premier, the minister of economic affairs, the director of the Council for Economic Planning and Development and other relevant decision-making officials need to shoulder responsibility for the compensation.

At the press conference yesterday, KMT Legislator Wang Chung-yu (王鍾渝) claimed that the government's flip-flopping on the issue of the Fourth Nuclear Power Plant in 2000 had cost the nation's coffers NT$74 billion and resulted in 160,000 people losing their jobs.

The KMT caucus' move yesterday echoed the call on Sunday by a group of academics that called itself the People's Alliance for Recovering Stolen National Wealth.

The group spoke out in protest of what they described as wrongheaded government policies.

They claimed that the government is becoming the country's largest "capitalist" by embezzling official properties and funds.

While the group, which includes members such as poet and social activist Chan Che (詹澈) and film director Hou Hsiao-hsien (侯孝賢), claims not to be politically affiliated, it has strong connections with anti-administration figures such as independent Legislator Sisy Chen (陳文茜).

The group had announced that its initial efforts will be on researching 10 cases of mishan-dled government spending.

Aside from the Fourth Nuclear Power Plant, the KMT caucus yesterday said that it will subsequently launch similar campaigns to claim compensation from the government for costs associated with the Taichung International Airport, the Hualien Airport and costs associated with the March referendum.

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