Wed, Aug 01, 2007 - Page 3 News List

Draft 2008 budget released

By Shih Hsiu-chuan  /  STAFF REPORTER

The Cabinet draft of the budget for the next fiscal year includes about NT$340 billion (US$10.361 billion) in defense spending, Directorate General of Budget, Accounting and Statistics Minister Hsu Chang-yao (許璋瑤) said yesterday.

Hsu said that the Ministry of National Defense budget would see the biggest increase among government agencies in the proposed budget -- NT$40 billion more than this year -- and that the ministry would account for about one-fifth of the total spending.

Hsu released the budget proposal at a press conference after he briefed Premier Chang Chun-hsiung (張俊雄).

Partial funding of the three weapons systems in the US arms deal was incorporated in the national defense budget, Hsu said, refusing to give further details.

The deal includes 12 P-3C Orion maritime patrol aircraft, three PAC-3 Patriot anti-missile batteries and eight diesel-electric subs.

While screening the central government's budget for the current fiscal year in June, the legislature approved partial funding for the planes and for assessing the feasibility of the submarine purchase. The budget for the Patriot batteries, however, was slashed.

The proposal projects the government's total revenues next year will be NT$1.6 trillion and its annual expenditure will be NT$1.7 trillion, Hsu said, adding the shortfall would be partially covered by an expected 6.9 percent growth in tax revenue.

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