Thu, Jul 24, 2014 - Page 3 News List

KMT is again ‘world’s richest party’

PRINCES AND PAUPERS:The KMT made NT$981.52m in interest alone from its NT$26.8bn in assets last year, and NT$1.549bn total, while the DPP had a revenue of only NT$440m

By Chung Li-hua and Jason Pan  /  Staff reporter, with staff writer

The Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) registered total assets of NT$26.8 billion (US$892.4 million), which earned the party NT$981.52 million in interest last year, about 63 percent of the party’s NT$1.549 billion in total revenue for the year, the Ministry of the Interior reported.

Pointing to the party’s vast assets and variety of profit-making enterprises under its control, critics said the KMT still retains the title of “the world’s richest political party.”

The party was described as “KMT Inc” by the Far Eastern Economic Review in 1994.

Critics further charged that much of the KMT’s assets were ill-gotten gains from past business monopolies and special privileges based on political connections over the party’s almost six decades of one-party rule in Taiwan.

Critics also said that the latest figures reveal that President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) has deceived the public with more “bounced checks.”

Ma promised when he assumed the KMT chairmanship in 2005 that party assets would not be used for election campaigns, and that the assets would be sold off and placed in trusts.

The ministry’s report showed that the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) had a revenue of NT$440 million last year, less than 30 percent of the KMT’s.

The Taiwan Solidarity Union (TSU) and the People First Party (PFP) had revenues of NT$73 million and NT$39 million respectively.

Among the four major political parties, only the KMT has a spending deficit, with expenditure of NT$1.977 billion last year against revenue of NT$1.549 billion, putting it NT$428 million in the red.

The DPP had revenue of NT$440 million, with expenditure of NT$423 million last year, for a surplus of NT$17 million; the TSU had revenue of NT$73.37 million, with expenditure of NT$53.38 million, for a surplus of NT$19.99 million; and the PFP had revenue of NT$39.06 million, on expenditure of NT$11.57 million, for a NT$27.49 million surplus, according to the reports.

The KMT spent NT$1.4 billion, along with NT$500 million for office expenses, higher than the DPP’s overall party expenditure of NT$423 million last year.

The main sources of the KMT’s income are from property trusts (財產信託) of the party’s enterprises, which came to NT$981.52 million, or 63.37 percent of the party’s overall income last year.

The rest of the KMT’s income came from state subsidies (based on the party’s electoral results) at NT$293.12 million and political donations at NT$28.16 million.

The DPP’s main source of income was from state subsidies (based on party’s electoral results) at NT$227.82 million, at 51.7 percent of party’s overall income last year.

The DPP’s other income was NT$132.28 million in political donations and NT$51.66 million from party membership fees.

Instead of selling off party assets and putting the money into trusts, KMT has continue to reap profits from its investments, which contributed NT$980 million to party coffers last year. From 2006 to last year, the KMT’s investments have contributed a total of NT$13.56 billion to the party’s coffers.

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