Sun, Jan 12, 2014 - Page 3 News List

Legislative Yuan to vote on budget on Tuesday

Staff writer, with CNA

The Legislative Yuan is scheduled to vote on the government’s 2014 budget plan on Tuesday after a series of negotiations by lawmakers from the ruling party and the opposition camp, sources said yesterday.

The sources said that as Tuesday will be the last day of the current legislative session, lawmakers held two rounds of intensive talks this week to try to resolve their differences.

After the negotiations, lawmakers from the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) party and the opposition parties reached a consensus to cut the budget by NT$24.5 billion (US$816.7 million), Legislative Yuan Speaker Wang Jin-pyng (王金平) said on Friday.

The central government proposed budget amounted to NT$1.94 trillion, which is up about 1.7 percent from last year’s NT$1.91 trillion.

The KMT’s Policy Committee chief executive Lin Hung-chih (林鴻池) said the NT$24.5 billion budget cut is a relatively large cut compared to previous budget reductions.

Lin, also chief whip of the party’s 65-member legislative caucus, said the ratio of the more than 1 percent cut could be steeper than reductions in the past few years.

The consensus reached during talks on the proposed general budget earlier in the week did not include a wide range of items, such as a proposal to stop year-end bonuses to the president, the premier, and Cabinet ministers, the sources said.

Other items which failed to yield a consensus during the talks included a preferential deposit interest rate for retired civil servants, educational subsidies planned for siblings of retired civil servants, and NT$26 million worth of initial spending on the national cancer research center, they said.

However, the sources said these items will also be subject to a vote in Tuesday’s meeting.

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