Thu, Aug 24, 2006 - Page 3 News List

Military spending to increase for next fiscal year

By Jimmy Chuang  /  STAFF REPORTER

The government is planning to spend more money on the nation's military in the next fiscal year.

According to the annual budget for the next fiscal year which was approved yesterday during the weekly Cabinet meeting, total expenses are estimated at NT$1.66 trillion (US$52 billion). Of this, NT$1.51 trillion will be sourced from taxes.

Approximately NT$311.5 billion will be spent on the military, NT$70.9 billion more than in the previous fiscal year.

"Military spending increased by 29.5 percent because we need to make more purchases to replace outdated or non-functioning weapons and equipment," Cabinet Spokesman Cheng Wen-tsang (鄭文燦) said.

Cheng said that NT$86 billion would be allocated to fund technological development next year, NT$840 million more than this year.

As Premier Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌) has made lowering the crime rate a priority, NT$82 billion will be spent for that purpose next year, NT$3.4 billion more than this year. A further NT$199 trillion will be spent on economic development.

In the meantime, Cheng also confirmed that salaries for public servants and government officials would not increase.

Cheng said that public servants and government officials have received 6 percent increases on two occasions in the past five years. By comparison, employees of private firms have received an average 4.7 percent increase during the same period.

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