Thu, Aug 09, 2007 - Page 4 News List

No pay raise for civil servants: Chen Shui-bian

By Ko Shu-ling  /  STAFF REPORTER

Teachers, civil servants and military personnel will not receive a pay raise next year, President Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) said yesterday, ending weeks of speculation about a possible salary hike.

Director-General of the Directorate General of Budget, Accounting and Statistics (DGBAS) Hsu Chang-yao (許璋瑤) said that teachers, civil servants and military personnel had seen their salaries increase twice over the past seven years. They received a 3 percent increase in 2001 following a 3 percent rise in 2005.

Other factors taken into account included the consumer price index, pay-scale adjustments in the private and public sectors, the financial condition of the government, as well as inflation and economic growth rates.

Hsu made the remarks while briefing Chen at the Presidential Office yesterday afternoon.

Dismissing speculation that the DGBAS had proposed either a 3 percent pay raise or no pay raise at all, Presidential Office Spokesman David Lee (李南陽) said yesterday Chen agreed with the agency's advice on no pay raise at all.

Chen made the decision after hearing reports by Hsu, Premier Chang Chun-hsiung (張俊雄) and Minister of Finance Ho Chih-chin (何志欽) at the Presidential Office.

The officials were briefing Chen on the government's budget for next year.

The Presidential Office issued a statement after the meeting saying that next year's revenues were projected to increase by NT$112.7 billion (US$3.5 billion), or 7.6 percent.

The defense budget will reach the policy goal of 3 percent of GDP.

While most of the local governments are in dire financial situations, Chen said he would like to see Taipei City offer a clear account of its tax surplus after it refused to share the tax redistribution fund with Taipei County. Chen also asked the Executive Yuan to map out a plan in response to the matter.

The legislature in May passed an amendment to the Local Government Act (地方制度法), allowing Taipei County to be upgraded to the status of a special municipality.

As a result, the county will be entitled to privileges similar to those enjoyed by special municipalities such as Kaohsiung and Taipei City in terms of budget scale and personnel.

Taipei Mayor Hau Lung-bin (郝龍斌) and Kaohsiung Mayor Chen Chu (陳菊) have joined forces to petition Chang in the hope of stopping the central government from allowing Taipei County to take a share of their annual budget.

The Ministry of Finance estimated that this would result in a NT$18.3 billion annual shortfall for Taipei City and NT$10 billion for Kaohsiung.

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