Wed, Oct 05, 2005 - Page 3 News List

Government spends too much on retiree appointments: TSU


Many retired officials have been appointed to organizations founded or sponsored by the government and are enjoying dual incomes, Taiwan Solidarity Union (TSU) Legislator-at-large Lai Shin-yuan (賴幸媛) said yesterday.

"These retired officials earned a total NT$600 billion [US$18 billion] from the government, including their pensions and the monthly paychecks from new appointments after retirement. This is ridiculous and unacceptable," Lai said.

Lai made the remarks during a press conference at the legislative office building yesterday morning.

She said she will seek cross-party support on the issue to veto the budget or force the government to reduce it.

According to Lai's investigation, the Cabinet's 34 ministry-level subsidiary offices have 143 government-related organizations under them. Among them, three ministries -- the Ministry of Economic Affairs, the Council of Agriculture and the Department of Health -- for example, have 13 organizations under them that have hired 58 retired officials. In addition to their own pensions, the average monthly paycheck for each official is approximately NT$130,000, or about NT$80 million a year.

Lai said there are approximately 840,000 jobless Taiwanese, with 80 percent of them being above the age of 45.

"It is certainly not fair to pay these retired government officials so much while so many people remain jobless," she said.

Meanwhile, Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Lawmaker Lin Shu-shan (林樹山) questioned China Steel Corp Chairman Lin Wen-yuan's (林文淵) annual income during a briefing by Premier Frank Hsieh (謝長廷) on the Cabinet's annual budget at the legislature yesterday morning.

According to Lin Shu-shan, Lin Wen-yuan has been given shares of the company's stock worth approximately NT$44 million, in addition to his paycheck as chairman, which is about NT$8 million a year.

"Is this reasonable? Is this fair?" Lin said.

Hsieh said it was the first time he'd heard of the matter.

But Minister of Finance Lin Chuan (林全) endorsed the arrangement and said it was legal.

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