Sat, Dec 11, 2004 - Page 3 News List

Lien Chan reveals nine main issues

DOMESTIC AGENDA The KMT chairman said that the pan-greens had not done enough to take care of the country's problems, especially economically

By Caroline Hong  /  STAFF REPORTER

Bringing the focus of today's legislative elections on to domestic issues, Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Chairman Lien Chan (連戰) yesterday cited nine main issues that the pan-blue camp will promote if given a majority in the Legislative Yuan.

Speaking in response to President Chen Shui-bian's (陳水扁) promises on domestic issues at Taipei 101 yesterday, Lien presented nine educational and economic policies that the pan-blue alliance would promote if the pan-blue camp can win a majority today.

Making a play on the Taiwanese words for "excellent," Lien showed the media party advertisements delineating its "Wu Kao Chan" (有九讚) policies.

Lien again called on Chen yesterday morning to consider nominating Deputy Legislative Speaker Chiang Pin-kun (江丙坤) as the nation's new premier should the pan-blue alliance win a majority in the year-end legislative elections.

NINE POINTS

If given a majority, the pan-blue alliance will work to, first, promote a youth educational benefits statute (青年教育津貼條例) to grant children in Aboriginal, handicapped and low income households exemptions from certain education expenses, zero interest on educational loans, and increasing the amount of educational expenses that can be reported as a tax-deductible expense -- from NT$25,000 to NT$50,000.

Secondly, Lien said, the pan-blue alliance will work to increase the amount of money invested in education from 2 percent to 6 percent of the nation's GDP.

Third, Lien proposed the creation of a statute providing for equal treatment for both private and public school teachers in their retirement (教師退休撫卹條例).

There is no government-provided retirement plan for farmers, added Lien, criticizing the government for having enough money to pay for the controversial NT$610.8 billion special arms budget and not for providing the nation's farmers with a comfortable retirement. If the pan-blue camp wins a majority, it will push for the creation of a health insurance statute (農民健康保險條例) that includes such a plan, Lien said.

Fifth, the pan-blue alliance will push for a better Social Service and Rescue Law (社會救助法) and increase pension payments for citizens over the age of 65 years to NT$10,000 per month.

The pan-blue camp will also push for the creation of a statute allowing voluntary military service (志願役軍人服役條例), which was part of the pan-blue camp's campaign platform in the presidential election.

Again criticizing the Chen administration on the NT$610.8 billion arms budget, Lien also called for the formation of a statute regulating national large-scale arms purchases (重大軍事採購條例).

Lastly, Lien criticized the government for wasting the nation's resources, echoing evaluations by social groups estimating that government projects such as the failed Fourth Nuclear Power Plant project have wasted over NT$6 trillion of the public's money. As a result, the pan-blue alliance will push for a fiscal discipline law (財政紀律法) should it gain a majority of seats in the legislature today.

To help the party's chances today, Lien added his efforts to the party's telephone campaign for the elections yesterday morning, personally phoning supporters to remind them to vote tomorrow.

While phoning supporters, Lien told reporters that he hoped Chen would support Lien's recommendation Thursday that deputy legislative speaker Chiang Pin-kun (江丙坤) be made the next premier in the case of a pan-blue majority, given his strong background in economic planning.

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