Fri, Feb 20, 2009 - Page 4 News List

KMT to DPP: no budget slashing

By Flora Wang  /  STAFF REPORTER

The Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) caucus yesterday urged the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) caucus to drop its plan to demand the president slash the government’s fiscal budget for this year in accordance with Article 71 of the Budget Act (預算法).

At a press conference, KMT caucus secretary-general Yang Chiung-ying (楊瓊瓔) instead urged the DPP to support the government’s special budget request to boost domestic demand.

“We can see that other nations, including the US, are also making efforts to increase their domestic demand ... We hope that the DPP will review the request strictly and pass the budget as soon as possible,” Yang said.

KMT Legislator Huang Chao-shun (黃昭順) said the KMT caucus would lend full support to the government’s plans to improve the economy.

“We are running against time. I hope the legislature will complete the budget review effectively and quickly,” Huang said.

“If our tax revenues decrease, [the government] can still raise funds by selling shares of state-run enterprises or public land or take out loans. Cutting the government budget at this time cannot solve the problem,” KMT Legislator Lo Shu-lei (羅淑蕾) said.

Legislative Speaker Wang Jin-pyng (王金平) also voiced opposition to the DPP plan, saying that cutting the government’s budget amid the economic downturn would deal another blow to the economy.

“The important thing is that the ruling party and the opposition should join hands and boost the economy together ... If the government had not recently proposed policies and measures [to improve the economy] the nation’s GDP [this year] could have been worse than the forecast of minus 2.97 percent,” Wang said.

In related news, Minister of Finance Lee Sush-der (李述德) said yesterday that there was no need for the Executive Yuan to revise this fiscal year’s budget statement even though the forecast for economic growth had been revised downward by a significant degree.

ADDITIONAL REPORTING BY SHIH HSIU-CHUAN

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