Former vice president Annette Lu (呂秀蓮) yesterday said she was giving up her year-end bonus in a move to uphold fairness and justice in the light of recent controversy about year-end pension bonuses to retired government employees and government fiscal difficulties.
Lu said in a press release that she would give up the one-and-a-half-month bonus to facilitate reforms on benefits for civil servants, military personnel and teachers.
There has been widespread discontent among the public over the government’s preferential treatment for those three groups of people, Lu said.
The former vice president also submitted a six-point appeal for an austerity drive to remedy the government’s fiscal difficulties.
Lu called for reducing the president’s state fund by one-third, slashing half of the budget for business trips for elected representatives of all levels and cutting the budget for celebrations and festivities.
The preferential interests rates of 18 percent for retired government employees and 13 percent for retired state-owned institution employees, as well as the subsidy of NT$30 per vote for candidates of public office elections, should be reduced or abolished, she said.
Finally, payrolls of state-owned companies and government-funded non-profit corporations should be trimmed, she said.
Lu said this was not the first time she had volunteered to receive less salary in the name of social justice because she and former president Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) volunteered for a 50 percent pay cut when they took office in 2000.
Lu’s year-end bonus has been part of the preferential treatment package stipulated by the Act Governing Preferential Treatment to Retired Presidents and Vice Presidents (卸任總統副總統禮遇條例), according to a staff member at Lu’s office.