Wed, Oct 07, 2009 - Page 3 News List

Flood measures set for cash boost

By Flora Wang  /  STAFF REPORTER

The Executive Yuan is seeking a budget of NT$1.73 trillion (US$53.7 billion) for the next fiscal year, the majority of which would be spent on flood prevention and land preservation in mountainous areas, Premier Wu Den-yih (吳敦義) said yesterday.

During a briefing at the Legislative Yuan, the premier said the Executive Yuan had slashed NT$4.8 billion from the original budget request proposed by the Cabinet under former premier Liu Chao-shiuan (劉兆玄).

The slashed budget included NT$350 million for new helicopters for the Ministry of the Interior and NT$2.35 billion for the Hushan Reservoir, the premier’s report said.

The budget request for next year was NT$74.7 billion less than for the current fiscal year, Wu said.

However, there was a NT$9.6 billion increase in the budget earmarked for flood prevention compared with the budget for this fiscal year, Wu said, adding that the budget for flood prevention for next year totaled NT$84.5 billion.

The Executive Yuan also proposed a budget revenue of NT$1.55 trillion, Wu said, adding that the government would take out loans to bridge the NT$183 billion difference between the requested expenditure and revenue.

The premier said the Executive Yuan would also prioritize measures to tackle A(H1N1) in its fiscal budget request for next year by requesting NT$1.63 billion for prevention efforts.

During a question-and-answer session with the premier, Democratic Progressive Party Legislator William Lai (賴清德) questioned the government’s proposal to slash the budget earmarked for social welfare by NT$9.45 billion while increasing the budget for President Ma Ying-jeou’s (馬英九) “state affairs” fund by NT$10 million.

In response, Wu promised to review the budget set aside for social welfare, adding that he was willing to make up for the decrease by proposing a special budget.

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