Mon, Feb 01, 2016 - Page 3 News List

DPP threatens to boycott disputed bills

NO POPULAR MANDATE :The negotiations over the trade in goods agreement with China should wait until the newly elected government takes office, a lawmaker said

By Chang Hsiao-ti  /  Staff reporter

As the Executive Yuan plans to continue pushing controversial policies before president-elect Tsai Ing-wen’s (蔡英文) inauguration on May 20, Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) lawmakers said that the DPP caucus would stage a boycott if the Chinese Nationalist Party’s (KMT) caretaker government attempts to force the policies through.

Following the KMT’s defeat in the presidential and legislative elections on Jan. 16, the Cabinet on Wednesday published a list of policies it said it would continue to push before Tsai takes office.

The policies include easing regulations to allow white-collar foreign workers in the nation, joining the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB), allowing Chinese capital into the IC design industry, allowing Chinese visitors to buy securities in Taiwan, extending National Health Insurance coverage to Chinese students, mutually setting up representative offices across the Taiwan Strait with Beijing and shortening the waiting period for Chinese immigrant spouses’ naturalization.

The list also includes policy proposals that have been halted by the legislature, as well as amendments to existing laws.

Although the legislature had adopted a resolution requiring the Executive Yuan to make an industrial impact assessment report, hold public hearings, and make a presentation at the legislature before the legislature would review the proposal to allow Chinese capital in IC design, Minister of Economic Affairs John Deng (鄧振中) has been lobbying with KMT lawmakers to review the proposal in the new legislative session, so that it might be passed before May 20.

In addition, although Deng following the elections said that talks regarding the cross-strait trade in goods agreement would be suspended while the caretaker government is in office, he later said he would still push for continuing the talks if the situation permits.

DPP Legislator Lin Shu-fen (林淑芬) yesterday said that negotiations may only proceed after the legislature passes a bill regarding cross-strait negotiations, adding that as the bill is yet to be passed, the government should halt such negotiations.

As for the government’s plan to allow white-collar foreign workers into Taiwan, Lin said that the policy serves to fulfill the needs of businesses that want to cut labor costs and might cause salaries to drop, adding that if President Ma Ying-jeou’s (馬英九) government tries to force it through, the DPP would launch a boycott.

DPP legislator-elect Wang Ting-yu (王定宇) said the policy outline for allowing white-collar foreign workers is incomplete and would further lower the starting salaries of young people.

As for the AIIB bid, Wang said that it concerns foreign policy, adding that the government should not do anything as it does not have a popular mandate.

The legislator-elect said that as the new legislature is about to take over, the DPP would “stop everything that should be stopped” in the legislature.

Since Vice Premier Simon Chang (張善政) said that the trade in goods agreement would not be signed before May 20, the preparatory works should be stopped for the moment, DPP legislator-elect Frida Tsai (蔡培慧) said, adding that after being sworn-in as a legislator she would talk to different government agencies, reminding them to shift their attention from trying to fulfill the requests of their superiors to protecting public interest.

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