Tue, Sep 13, 2011 - Page 3 News List

DPP lawmakers question Ma on policy failures

‘ALL TALK’:Legislators said the Ma government had failed to meet its targets on raising defense and education spending and support for business

By Huang Wei-chu  /  Staff Reporter

Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) legislators accused President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) over the weekend of lacking sincerity, saying he only knew how to talk about his accomplishments while failing to apologize for his policy shortcomings.

They said the public would no longer believe a president who lacks credibility. Ma is running for re-election in January.

Although the budget allocated for Hakka affairs has expanded exponentially in four years, as the Directorate-General of Budget, Accounting and Statistics’ detailed figures for next year’s budget show, Ma has failed to meet his other budgetary promises, the DPP said.

Ma had promised that the national defense budget would constitute no less than 3 percent of GDP, but the government had failed to meet this requirement in his two years in office — with both last year’s and this year’s defense budget standing at 2.7 percent of GDP, they said.

On education, Ma had proposed that its budget would increase by 0.2 percent of GDP per year, translating into an increase of NT$24 billion (US$807 million) per year, with government expenditure on education reaching 6 percent of GDP after eight years.

However, DPP legislators said that only the budget for 2009 had met this goal and that the net increase in funding for education in each of the two subsequent years did not even reach NT$20 billion.

The Ma administration also said it would set aside NT$10 billion annually for the Small and Medium Enterprise Credit Guarantee Fund of Taiwan and NT$5 billion for the establishment of a cultural diplomacy foundation, but both promises have not been fulfilled, they said.

DPP Legislator Tsai Huang-liang (蔡煌瑯) said Ma should apologize for failing to meet many of his policies, adding that the government’s focus on only its accomplishments was deceiving the public.

Ma’s credibility as a president has become questionable, Tsai said.

DPP Legislator Pan Men-an (潘孟安) agreed, saying: “The Ma administration only spreads the good news and doesn’t tell you the bad news.”

He added that the administration had only actively talked about the few policies that it had achieved while keeping silent on the ones it had not met.

Taiwanese will no longer believe Ma, Pan said.

In response, Research, Development and Evaluation Commission spokesman Sung Yu-hsieh (宋餘俠) said the execution of some policies were divided into parts and needed to be viewed on a case-by-case basis.

Sung added that if a policy’s execution was not up to speed, the evaluation unit would remind the agency in charge of its implementation to expedite its execution.

Translated by Jake Chung, staff writer

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