Tue, Jan 21, 2020 - Page 3 News List

Legislative Yuan passes 2020 government budget

Staff writer, with CNA

Democratic Progressive Party legislators pose for a photograph in the main chamber of the Legislative Yuan in Taipei yesterday, the final day of an extraordinary legislative session.

Photo: Chien Jung-fong, Taipei Times

The Legislative Yuan yesterday passed this year’s central government budget, which projects a surplus of about NT$30 billion (US$1 billion), or about 1.4 percent of total spending.

In final budget negotiations, lawmakers cut the Executive Yuan’s proposed expenditure by 1.17 percent to NT$2.077 trillion and added NT$4.76 billion to the revenue projected by the government, bringing total budgeted revenue to NT$2.107 trillion.

During the initial review over the final four months of last year, lawmakers cut NT$1.5 billion from the proposed NT$2.102 trillion in government expenditure and proposed 2,473 changes to the budget.

They failed to finish reviewing the proposals before the end of the regular legislative session last month, and an extraordinary session began on Tuesday last week to complete the work, which passed 39 of the proposals.

A proposal by the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) to cut or freeze funds for the Ill-gotten Party Assets Settlement Committee and the Transitional Justice Commission because of what it said was a lack of neutrality in the two bodies was not passed.

Lawmakers from the KMT, People First Party and New Power Party sought to cut or freeze NT$427.6 million for a national electronic identification card system, citing security and privacy concerns, but those proposals also failed, although the Democratic Progressive Party, which has a majority in the legislature, pushed through a temporary 10 percent freeze on funds for the ID system.

The proposal requires the Ministry of the Interior to gather opinions on the proposed system, alleviate concerns over security, report its findings to the Legislature’s Internal Administration Committee and gain the committee’s approval before the money can be used.

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