Sun, Dec 05, 2004 - Page 2 News List

DPP defends its economic record; sees bright future

DEFLECTING CRITICISM A DPP legislator made the remarks yesterday in response to criticism from the Speaker on the party's handling of the economy

CNA

The nation's economic prospects are very promising, with economic growth expected to reach 4.5 percent and unemployment to drop to 4.25 percent next year, a ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) legislator said yesterday.

Tsai Huang-liang (蔡煌瑯), DPP legislative caucus whip, made the remarks in response to claims by Legislative Yuan Speaker Wang Jin-pyng (王金平) that the DPP has done a bad job in administering the country, especially in terms of the economy.

According to Tsai, the economic growth rate of Taiwan dropped to around 5 percent during the time that the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) was in power, and the first term of President Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) happened to be the start of a global economic recession.

However, the country has managed to create a "new miracle" by seeing its foreign reserves double despite the global recession, Tsai said.

He said Taiwan has survived the recession and is now ready to welcome a promising future.

While economic growth is estimated at 4.5 percent next year, the unemployment rate is expected to fall to 4.25 percent, he added.

Wang yesterday criticized the DPP as performing poorly in administering the country, claiming the problem will worsen if the party gains majority control in the legislature in Saturday's elections.

Wang, who is also a vice chairman of the KMT, blamed the DPP for sending Taiwan's economic growth plummeting to 5.27 percent from the 9 percent registered during KMT rule.

While one million people have migrated to China, two million people are on the verge of unemployment, and the gap between rich and poor is widening, Wang said.

Wang further accused the DPP of squandering taxpayers' money, saying the DPP government has spent NT$8.2 trillion (US$254.65 billion) in five years, compared with only NT$5.7 trillion during the previous five years in which the KMT ruled.

Refuting the DPP's claim that the pan-blue camp is hampering the country's development by being antagonistic toward the government, Wang said the opposition-controlled legislature passed nearly 600 legislative bills in the past five years, which he said is even more effective than the time when the DPP was in the opposition.

Furthermore, Wang said the DPP's maneuvering on ethnic issues has severely divided Taiwan society and that the DPP's provocative manner in handling cross-Taiwan Strait relations is giving the country a negative outlook.

Wang said the pan-blue camp must maintain majority control in the legislature to ensure the security of Taiwan.

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