Wed, Sep 14, 2016 - Page 3 News List

New Legislative Session: NPP reveals list of priority legislation

By Chen Wei-han  /  Staff reporter

The New Power Party (NPP) yesterday put forward a list of priority bills to be reviewed in the new legislative session, with pension reform, labor rights protection and Aboriginal transitional justice taking center stage.

The party is to propose a draft bill on recognizing the seniority of personnel transferring between political parties, government agencies and public schools, as well as draft amendments to the Act Governing the Recompense for the Discharge of Special Political Appointees (政務人員退職撫卹條例), aimed at reforming a privileged pension system enjoyed by the likes of former vice president Lien Chan (連戰), NPP Legislator Hsu Yung-ming (徐永明) said.

Lien’s term of service in the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) is counted toward his seniority in the government, and he is eligible to receive an 18 percent preferential savings interest rate, Hsu said.

While the particulars of the draft bill and amendments are being discussed, these aim to reform the seniority system and the preferential savings interest rate, he said.

“There is social consensus for the proposed reforms and we are calling on ‘Lien Chans’ to cooperate,” Hsu said.

The proposals are also aimed at initiating the first pension reform before the Cabinet tables an official reform plan, Hsu added.

Other priority bills proposed by the NPP included draft amendments to the Labor Standards Act (勞動基準法); a draft minimum wages act; amendments to the Estate and Gift Tax Act (遺產及贈與稅法); a draft taxpayer protection act; amendments to the Referendum Act (公民投票法) and Civil Servants Election and Recall Act (公職人員選舉罷免法); a draft act on the freedom of assembly; a draft Aboriginal transitional justice act; a draft Aboriginal land and sea rights act; amendments to the Education Act for Indigenous Peoples (原住民族教育法); a draft act on citizen participation in the court system; amendments to Money Laundering Control Act (洗錢防制法) and the State Compensation Act (國家賠償法), among others.

Meanwhile, NPP Legislator Huang Kuo-chang (黃國昌) criticized the Executive Yuan, which proposed a plan to allow Chinese investors to purchase stock-based funds in Taiwan, but tried to avoid bringing the plan to legislative review.

“The government’s sudden and unilateral move has left Sunflower movement supporters dumbfounded,” he said, adding that the NPP will mobilize the legislature to put the plan under review.

The party will continue to push for a cross-strait agreements oversight bill in line with the proposals put forward during the Sunflower movement in 2014, Huang said.

China has attempted to coerce Taiwan by manipulating the tourism market and Taiwan’s economy, and should the Democratic Progressive Party government cave in to Chinese pressure and accept the “one China” principle, Taiwan would lose its sovereignty and national security, Huang said.

The nation can navigate the crisis in the tourism industry amid a steep decline in the number of Chinese tourists if the government can use the downturn as an opportunity to improve the tourism sector, Hsu said.

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