Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Taipei City councilors yesterday accused the city government of listing lavish budgets and failing to address the deficit in its budget plan, as Taipei carries a debt of NT$12 billion (US$ 400 million) into the next year.
Standing outside the city council, Wang Shih-chien (王世堅), Lin Shih-tsung (林世宗), Chiang Chi-ming (江志銘) and Hsu Shu-hua (許淑華) protested against the budget report presented by Taipei Mayor Hau Lung-bin (郝龍斌) and refused to enter the venue.
“We can see from the report that there is a lot of lavish and unnecessary spending. The city invests money and energy in international activities, and the victims are Taipei residents because the city is still in debt,” Wang said.
Lin questioned the increase of personnel expenditure in the city government despite the central government’s efforts to streamline government structure, as the number of civil servants and contract workers increased from 24,655 in 1999 to 24,929 last year, and the budget for personnel spending next year stands at NT$102 billion.
He also slammed the city for investing what he said was a huge amount in international activities, citing the budget for the 2017 Summer Universiade games, which stands at more than NT$40 million.
The report showed that next year’s expenditure would total NT$172.6 billion, while revenue would likely amount to NT$159 billion.
The city would carry an overall debt of NT$12 billion, according to the report.
Hau said that the city’s deficit next year will be lower than previous years, adding that the city government aims to raise the city’s profile by hosting international events.
However, Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Taipei City Councilor Chin Hui-chu (秦慧珠) and DPP Taipei City Councilor Chuang Rui-hsiung (莊瑞雄) questioned Hau over allegations that he is looking to replace Premier Jiang Yi-huah (江宜樺) and head a new Cabinet at the end of this year.
“There have been rumors that you could become premier. If this is true, you will become a mayor on the run and leave the city in debt,” Chuang said.
Hau dismissed the rumor, and said he will finish his term, which runs until next year.
He questioned Chuang over his plan to represent the DPP in the legislative election in Pingtung County.
“It’s impossible for me to take over as the premier. Aren’t you the one who is planning to leave the city council and run in the legislative election in Pingtung?” he asked.