Fri, Jun 13, 2008 - Page 3 News List

New round of talks for new government funds

BILLIONS AND BILLIONS Democratic Progressive Party legislators disagreed with a proposal to provide the central government with NT$25.9 billion in extra money

By Flora Wang  /  STAFF REPORTER

The legislature yesterday referred the central government's request for an additional NT$45.5 billion (US$1.4 billion) budget to a new round of cross-party negotiations.

The Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) caucus motioned to include the proposal as part of the agenda for the plenary session yesterday after a joint meeting between the legislature’s seven committees on Monday led to an agreement on increasing the government’s fiscal budget by NT$45.5 billion, then cutting it by NT$19.6 billion.

After the cuts, the net budget increase would be NT$25.9 billion.

However, the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) caucus disagreed with the motion and proposed that the budget request be put to further cross-party negotiation.

According to regulations, the legislature must complete the negotiations within one month.

Should the legislature’s three caucuses fail to reach a consensus within the given time, the proposal would be referred to a plenary session.

Another proposal by the KMT involving the Civil Servant Services Act (公務員服務法) was also referred to further cross-party negotiation as a result of disagreement by the DPP caucus.

If passed, the bill would require that a civil servant wait three years before assuming any managerial position at a for-profit company if the job is connected to the position the official held before leaving the civil service.

Meanwhile, the legislature approved a health-related enactment, obliging anyone who intends to work as a language therapist to obtain a certificate by taking an examination before starting his or her own practice.

Examinees should graduate from departments or graduate schools related to language therapy and should have completed at least a six-month internship.

Language therapist would also have to obtain an operational license upon starting the practice. Any therapist who lends his or her certificate to others would have the document revoked and may be subject to criminal punishment if any criminal activity was involved.

The bill also obliges language therapists to hold patient confidentiality. Violators would be fined between NT$30,000 and NT$150,000.

The same fines would apply to anyone who offers language treatment without a proper certificate.

The enactment also bans all therapists from making false statements when they are commissioned to evaluate a case.

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