Wed, Mar 20, 2013 - Page 3 News List

Ministries squandering money on rent, TSU says

FOOTING THE BILL:The TSU said that three agencies chose to spend taxpayers’ money on rent in Taipei, rather than move to a new building meant for them

By Chris Wang  /  Staff reporter

Taiwan Solidarity Union (TSU) lawmakers yesterday said that at least three government agencies have refused to move into a new government building and chose instead to pay rent to stay at their current location because they prefer to stay in downtown Taipei.

The Ministry of Culture, the Council of Indigenous Peoples and the Council of Labor Affairs would rather pay a total of more than NT$200 million (US$6.7 million) a year of taxpayers’ money on rent than move to a joint government office building that is being built in Sinjhuang District (新莊), New Taipei City (新北市), and which is scheduled for completion in June, TSU Legislator Lin Shih-chia (林世嘉) told a press conference.

The new building was built to house four ministries and other agencies with a total of 2,700 government employees with the aim of saving public funds and increasing efficiency, TSU Legislator Hsu Chung-hsin (許忠信) said.

In response to an inquiry by Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Legislator Gao Jyh-peng (高志鵬) in a plenary session yesterday afternoon, Premier Jiang Yi-huah (江宜樺) pledged that all government agencies would move into the building in the second half of the year as planned.

The average annual rent for government agencies in the past five years has been about NT$2.2 billion, including NT$963 million for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and about NT$120 million each for the Ministry of Justice, the Ministry of Finance and the Ministry of the Interior, TSU Legislator Huang Wen-ling (黃文玲) said.

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