Wed, Oct 24, 2012 - Page 3 News List

Taipei cuts budget for official cars

ECONOMY DRIVE:The mayor said the city would ease up on buying new vehicles next year, ordering that cars not be replaced unless they have been used for 10 years

By Mo Yan-chih  /  Staff reporter

Taipei Mayor Hau Lung-bin (郝龍斌) yesterday said the city government will cancel plans to renew government vehicles next year amid calls for the public sector to economize.

Regulations stipulate that vehicles assigned to top-level officials, including the mayor, deputy mayor and department heads, must be replaced every eight years.

According next year’s government vehicle budget, the Taipei secretary-general and top-level officials are allocated cars that cost NT$850,000, deputy chiefs can be equipped with cars costing NT$700,000, while department heads get cars worth NT$610,000.

Hau said the city will ease up on buying new vehicles for officials next year, instructing all departments not to replace government vehicles unless they have been used for 10 years.

Department of Budget, Accounting & Statistics Deputy Director Liang Hsiu-chu (梁秀菊) said the city has encouraged departments to purchase fuel-efficient cars to reduce fuel costs and the cars that have been replaced were those used frequently by the departments to run public errands.

Meanwhile, Hau expressed expectations that cable television fees would be reduced to NT$500 per month or less as Taipei’s cable TV fee review committee prepares to discuss the monthly fee for cable television service next month.

The service fee for cable TV in Taipei is NT$515 per month and has not been adjusted for the past three years.

“We are facing a harsh economic environment and it is our responsibility to lower the heavy financial burden shouldered by the public. Cable TV service providers have generated good profits, but the cable TV service did not improve much. It is time to adjust the fee,” Hau said.

While the mayor pledged to cut the monthly fee of cable TV service, Yeh Huan-chang (葉煥昌), a division chief at Taipei City’s Department of Tourism and Information, said whether the fee will be lowered to NT$500 or less will be finalized in the committee.

The 11-member committee will meet later this month to discuss the rate and will reach a final decision by Nov. 30.

The rate decided upon will take effect starting next year.

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