Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) lawmakers yesterday voted down proposals to limit controversial year-end pension benefits for government retirees and blocked motions to reform various pension programs and discretionary government funding.
Opposition parties, led by the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), tabled four motions at the plenary session yesterday when lawmakers discussed the agenda of the meeting.
A proposal was made in line with Premier Sean Chen’s (陳冲) plan that only a limited number of government retirees, about 42,000, would receive year-end pension bonuses in the upcoming Lunar New Year in February, as opposed to 423,000 people.
KMT lawmakers were divided on the issue and decided on Thursday that they would postpone a decision until the end of this year.
The KMT also voted down a second proposal that the legislature approve a resolution to push President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) to hold a conference to discuss problems related to the various pension programs, an appeal recently initiated by former DPP chairperson Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) which has gained support from DPP Chairperson Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌) and former president Lee Teng-hui (李登輝).
Also blocked from the session agenda, which will continue on Tuesday, was a proposal calling for the establishment of an ad hoc committee in the legislature which would have allowed lawmakers to request documents from the executive branch to look at problems in the management of various pension funds and other government funds.
The issue came to light after an investment trust company was found using the Labor Insurance and Labor Pension funds to make huge profits by manipulating the stock price of Ablerex Electronics Co (盈正豫順電子) via dummy accounts.
Financial Supervisory Commission (FSC) Chairman Chen Yuh-chang (陳裕璋) recently said that managers involved in the handling of the Civil Servants Pension Fund and the Postal Savings Fund may have also engaged in illegal trading activity.
The KMT caucus also turned down a proposal that the legislature establish an ad hoc committee to look into how Ma has spent his state affairs fund, a discretionary fund of NT$30 million in his first two years in office, before it was raised to NT$40 million.
The DPP caucus claims that the NT$75 million donation Premier Sean Chen said Ma has offered to charities since he came to office in May 2008 — a figure not verified by the Presidential Office — came from the state affairs fund, rather than his salary.