Fri, Oct 26, 2007 - Page 2 News List

Travel program budget slashed

By Loa Iok-sin  /  STAFF REPORTER

A National Youth Commission official burst into tears yesterday after Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) lawmakers threatened to slash more than NT$8 million (US$24 million) from the commission's budget -- money needed to fund its Youth Travel in Taiwan program.

The program was initiated by the commission two years ago to promote educational tours for locals and foreigners between the ages of 15 and 30.

The commission has earmarked NT$8.6 million for next year's program. However, KMT lawmakers said it was not the commission's responsibility to promote travel and education, and threatened to cut the funds from the budget during a review in the legislature's Education and Culture Committee.

Commission Chairwoman Cheng Li-chun (鄭麗君) begged the legislators to reconsider, saying their actions would kill off the program altogether.

Wang Yu-chun (王育群), an official in charge of the program, then asked to talk to KMT Legislator Diane Lee (李慶安) in private, and reportedly burst into tears during the conversation.

After a brief negotiation, the committee resolved to allow the program to continue with a reduced budget of NT$2 million.

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