President Ma Ying-jeou’s (馬英九) administration should explain its handling of the year-end bonuses handed out to retired civil servants, public school teachers and military personnel, Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) legislators said yesterday.
The bonuses were criticized for being unfair and for placing additional strain on the nation’s finances, prompting Premier Sean Chen to announce on Oct. 19 that only retirees whose monthly pre-retirement salaries were less than NT$20,000, as well as the families of deceased retirees or those killed, injured or disabled in wars or during military exercises, would benefit from the bonus.
Chen later said that the policy revision would only be applied this year and that the policy would be reviewed on an annual basis.
However, veterans’ groups in Taoyuan and Greater Kahoisung have shown signs of discontent and recently urged the recall of the six KMT legislators representing Taoyuan County as well as the impeachment of Ma.
Speaking at yesterday’s meeting of the legislature’s Foreign and National Defense Committee, Legislator Liao Cheng-ching (廖正井) — one of the six lawmakers to find themselves on the firing line — said the legislature would be meeting on Thursday to discuss the veterans’ proposals.
KMT Legislator Sun Ta-chien (孫大千) said that the government’s handling of the issue was clumsy, adding that he had already proposed a draft amendment to relevant clauses to the Civil Service Retirement Act (公務人員退休法).
Sun said his proposal would ensure the bonuses were systematic, adding that he would also be outlining a proposal in the budget meeting to ask for the safe passage of the budget concerning bonus payments.