The Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) yesterday reaffirmed its support for Premier Sean Chen’s (陳冲) plan on year-end bonuses and said the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) caucus’ refusal to support Chen was a vote of no confidence in the Cabinet.
The DPP said it supported Chen’s plan to cut 90 percent of the original budget allocation for the bonuses of retired civil servants and public workers, which would bring down the cost to less than 10 percent of the original NT$20.2 billion (US$690 million) budget.
“More than 70 percent of respondents in public opinion polls opposed the distribution of the bonuses. The KMT caucus overturning Chen’s plan with a new proposal would be a vote of no confidence, a constitutional laughingstock and a crisis for the ruling party,” DPP spokesperson Lin Chun-hsien (林俊憲) told a press conference.
The KMT’s alternative proposal has not been finalized yet, but would make the tightening of qualification criteria less harsh due to pressure exerted by various constituencies on lawmakers.
Lin said such a proposal would be a slap in the face of President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九), who has lauded Chen’s plan as “a wise decision,” as well as a violation of fairness and justice, given that the bonus system lacks a legal basis.
Lin said the DPP’s support does not mean the party is shadowing the Executive Yuan’s policies.
“On the contrary, the DPP raised the issue of the bonuses before Chen came up with his reform plan,” he said.
The KMT’s inconsistent position on the issue, with the caucus opposing Chen’s plan, could be seen as a constitutional crisis, DPP Legislator Wu Ping-jui (吳秉叡) said at a separate press conference.
The DPP caucus urged the Executive Yuan to amend its proposal to make the plan a top-to-bottom reform, because at present the proposal would only cut NT$11.8 billion from the central government’s budget when NT$6.8 billion should be cut from the local governments’ budgets as well.
A Taipei veterinarian is urging pet owners to avoid using insecticides around their homes, as their ingredients can be toxic to pets. Commercial-grade insecticides contain pyrethroids — organic compounds similar to natural pyrethrins, pesticides produced by flowers such as chrysanthemums — in quantities that are harmless to humans, but potentially fatal to cats and dogs, Asian Veterinary Specialist Referral Center veterinarian Chua Man-ling (蔡曼琳) said. Even in small quantities, pyrethroids are hazardous to cats, as they lack the metabolic enzymes needed to process them, Chua said. Cockroach sprays and ant traps are especially dangerous to pets as they contain boric acid, she
People should avoid eating too many zongzi (粽子, glutinous rice wrapped in bamboo leaves), as consuming several in one meal could cause indigestion, bloating, gastric acid reflux, heartburn and other stomach ailments, a doctor said on Saturday. Zongzi is a traditional delicacy for the Dragon Boat Festival, which was on Thursday. Citing a recent case as an example, Cathay General Hospital gastroenterology department head Chu Yu-ming (朱淯銘) said that a 58-year-old taxi driver surnamed Hsiao (蕭) ate meals at irregular hours due to his work and has been taking diabetes medicine for three years. Hsiao recently bought a bag of zongzi and ate
DREAMING OF TRAVEL: About 7,000 people applied for the experience, with about 60 chosen for the first flight yesterday, which includes boarding an airplane Starved of the travel experience during COVID-19? Taipei International Airport (Songshan airport) has the solution — a fake itinerary where you check in, go through passport control and security, and even board the aircraft. You just never leave. The airport yesterday began offering travelers the chance to do just that, with about 60 people eager to get going, albeit to nowhere. About 7,000 people applied to take part, with the winners chosen by random. More fake flight experiences are to take place in the coming weeks. “I really want to leave the country, but because of the pandemic, lots of flights cannot fly,”
A DEPRIVATION? The Taiwan Higher Education Union said the program, which drew much student criticism, undermined students' right to an education The Taiwan Higher Education Union on Monday accused Ming Chuan University (MCU) of sacrificing its students’ right to education by altering the English-language instruction for first-year students. The university, which has long emphasized the value that it places on English-language education, in the 2019-2020 academic year changed its English program for first-year students to a combination of self-learning through online videos and weekly lab sessions, during which students would take online tests, the union said. The change has deprived more than 3,000 students of in-person instruction and of interaction with their teachers, the union added. The online program drew much criticism from students