Mon, Jan 20, 2020 - Page 3 News List

Justice commission budget cut expected to be voted on

By Huang Hsin-po  /  Staff reporter

The Legislative Yuan is today expected to vote on a proposal to cut the Transitional Justice Commission’s budget by more than half.

The legislature on Tuesday launched a provisional session to review the general budget for the year.

Following a series of cross-caucus negotiations, 40 budget proposals have yet to be approved, including one proposed by the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) to cut the commission’s budget. They are expected to be passed by noon today at the earliest.

Legislative Speaker Su Jia-chyuan (蘇嘉全) has said the legislature agreed that NT$24.6 billion (US$821.1 million), or 1.17 percent, would be cut from this year’s routine budgets.

KMT caucus whip William Tseng (曾銘宗) yesterday said that the party proposed cutting the Transitional Justice Commission’s budget and freezing the Ill-gotten Party Assets Settlement Committee’s budget, because the two agencies have failed to remain neutral when exercising their power.

All KMT legislators would be urged to support the proposals regarding the two agencies’ budgets to show the party’s stance on the issue, he added.

During an initial review of the commission’s budget, KMT legislators Shen Chih-hwei (沈智慧) and John Wu (吳志揚) had proposed reducing its planned budget of NT$65.48 million to zero.

The commission, which is to be dissolved in May, has betrayed its original mission of implementing justice, they said.

However, after cross-caucus negotiations, KMT legislators withdrew most of the proposals they had made regarding the commission’s budget, leaving only two.

They include a proposal to cut its personnel budget by NT$26.99 million and another to cut its budget for “recovering historical truth” by NT$8.97 million.

Meanwhile, the KMT insisted on putting forward two proposals for the Ill-gotten Party Assets Settlement Committee’s budget, including one to cut its transportation budget by NT$1.59 million and another to freeze one-fifth of its total annual budget of NT$52.26 million, until the committee submits a report on how it would ensure that it does not encroach on people’s property rights.

The KMT caucus has also proposed a motion to ban people older than 62 from serving as a chairperson or general manager of any state-owned enterprise.

The motion would also require all chairpersons and general managers of state-owned enterprises who are older than 65 to obtain approval from the Executive Yuan to remain in their position on a yearly basis.

The KMT said the motion aims to prevent those positions from being used by the ruling party as a way to reward its allies.

During cross-caucus negotiations, Democratic Progressive Party caucus whip Ker Chien-ming (柯建銘) said it would be difficult for all state-owned enterprises to meet the requirement.

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