Fri, Sep 07, 2012 - Page 3 News List

DPP again calls for new laws on local government funding

By Chris Wang  /  Staff reporter

The Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) caucus yesterday reiterated its call for the amendment of laws governing the prioritization of funding for local governments, because many local governments are currently in tough financial situations.

“The DPP caucus insists that the Act Governing the Allocation of Government Revenues and Expenditures (財政收支劃分法) and the Public Debt Act (公共債務法) be completely overhauled,” Pan Men-an (潘孟安), director-general of the DPP caucus, told a press conference.

While the Executive Yuan has proposed amending the Public Debt Act to allow local governments to raise their debt limits, the amendment of the Act Governing the Allocation of Government Revenues and Expenditures would also be able to improve local finances through a fairer distribution of the Tax Redistribution Fund, Pan said.

Pan called for Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) legislators to support the proposed amendment, which was blocked by the KMT caucus twice in the previous legislative session and in the extra session in July.

The DPP would like to cooperate with the other opposition parties — the Taiwan Solidarity Union (TSU) and the People First Party (PFP) — to devise a unified draft of the bills which it hopes could beat the KMT’s version in the legislature.

The amendment of both acts would assure a fairer distribution of government funding and begin to reverse long-standing policy flaws that placed the focus solely on the development of northern Taiwan and ignored other parts of the country, DPP Legislator Wu Ping-jui (吳秉叡) said.

However, Wu said he opposed raising the central government’s debt limit because Taiwan’s national debt has already surpassed NT$5 trillion (US$167.5 billion) under President Ma Ying-jeou’s (馬英九) administration.

DPP Legislator Huang Wei-cher (黃偉哲) said he hoped that KMT headquarters would not intervene with the legislative process if the KMT caucus did decide to support the amendment.

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