Sun, Feb 20, 2005 - Page 3 News List

KMT in caucus whip poll

AT ISSUE As the current KMT caucus whip prepares to step aside, the party said the next whip would be tasked with pushing social policies in the legislature

By Caroline Hong  /  STAFF REPORTER , WITH CNA

The leadership of the Chinese Nationalist Party's (KMT) legislative caucus will be up for grabs next week, as the caucus' current whip, Huang Teh-fu (黃德福), prepares to step down.

In a report released by a local news wire yesterday, Huang was quoted as saying elections for the party's new legislative caucus whip would take place next week this Thursday. First on the agenda for the new whip, Huang said in the report, would be educational and social benefit policies the party had earlier promised to support.

In early December, the KMT said that if the pan-blue camp retained a majority in the legislature after the Dec. 11 elections, it would promote nine specific social policies. In the news wire report, Huang said that the new KMT caucus whip would make it their top priority to consult the party's opposition ally, the People First Party (PFP), about the bills.

Confirming the report, KMT spokesman Chang Jung-kung (張榮恭) told the Taipei Times yesterday that the caucus whip election would be held next week and the next whip would promote the social policies.

The nine draft laws the KMT will push for are: a youth educational benefits statute, increasing the amount of money invested in education from 2 percent to 6 percent of the nation's GDP, a statute providing for equal treatment of both private and public school teachers' retirement, a health insurance statute that includes a retirement plan for farmers, reforms to the Social Service and Rescue Law (社會救助法), an increase in pension payments for citizens over the age of 65 to NT$10,000 per month, a statute calling for voluntary military service, a statute regulating national arms purchase deals and a fiscal discipline law to counteract wasteful government spending, such as the cancellation of the Fourth Nuclear Power Plant.

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