Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) lawmakers yesterday again voted down proposals made by the opposition parties on various issues that have come under fierce debate, ranging from welfare benefits and the health insurance system to media mergers.
The Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) and the Taiwan Solidarity Union (TSU) had proposed deliberating the plan advocated by Premier Sean Chen (陳冲) to reform year-end pension benefits for retired government retirees.
Chen proposed limiting recipients of the bonus this year from 445,000 retired military personnel, civil servants, public-school teachers and employees of state-owned enterprises to about 40,000 retirees, or the families of deceased retirees who receive a monthly pension of less than NT$20,000 and families of retirees who were killed, injured or disabled in wars or on military exercises.
The KMT voted down the proposal, as it had on several occasions in the past few weeks, because some KMT lawmakers remain strongly opposed to changing the policy.
Meanwhile, the People First Party (PFP) tabled a motion, with the support of the DPP and the TSU, that the government delayed implementation of a policy, set to begin next year, that people be levied a supplementary premium of 2 percent on incomes from six sources outside of regular salary under the second-generation National Health Insurance system.
This proposal was also voted down by the KMT.
The PFP, the DPP and the TSU had also proposed a motion demanding that the Fair Trade Commission not approve the sale of four Taiwanese outlets of the Next Media Group to a consortium in which Want Want China Times Group chairman Tsai Eng-meng (蔡衍明) has a stake to prevent media concentration and that a decision on the matter be made in 30 days.
The proposal again suffered a setback because of KMT opposition.
According to local media, shares of the Next Media Group’s print media in Taiwan — Apple Daily, Next Magazine and Sharp Daily — will be distributed among Formosa Plastics Group FPG chairman William Wong (王文淵) (34 percent), Tsai (32 percent), ChinaTrust Charity Foundation chairman Jeffrey Koo Jr (辜仲諒) (20 percent), and Lung Yen Life Service Corp chairman David Lee (李世聰) (14 percent).
Shares of Next TV are to be held respectively by Wong (34 percent), Taiwan Fire & Marine Insurance Co chairman Steve Lee (李泰宏) (32 percent), Koo Jr (20 percent) and David Lee (14 percent).
The NT$17.5 billion transaction is pending approval by the Investment Commission of the Ministry of Economic Affairs, the Fair Trade Commission and the National Communications Commission.