The Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) caucus yesterday demanded that President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) deliver on his promise to donate half of his salary to charity and disclose how he has spent his state affairs fund in the past four years.
Under mounting pressure to ease the government’s fiscal problems, Ma on Tuesday announced that he would cut the NT$40 million (US$1.37 million) state affairs fund by one-quarter in next year’s budget and said he hoped ruling and opposition parties could stop squabbling about unnecessary issues and work together.
However, DPP lawmakers yesterday accused Ma of using the budget cut to try to shift focus away from his failed economic performance and reminded the president again that he pledged to donate half of his salary if he failed to deliver on his “6-3-3” campaign pledge.
The pledge refers to Ma’s promise to attain GDP growth of 6 percent, an unemployment rate of less than 3 percent and a per capita income of US$30,000.
“The DPP caucus demands Ma donate half of his salary and disclose how he spent the state affairs fund,” DPP Legislator Pan Men-an (潘孟安) told a press conference, adding that Ma should not have used the fund for his donations to charity because the fund is “taxpayers’ money.”
According to the Presidential Office, more than half of Ma’s state affairs fund was donated to various social groups and organizations.
“Ma knows very well that his salary and the state affairs fund are two different things. Even if he donated all of the discretionary fund, it does not mean he has fulfilled his campaign promise,” DPP Legislator Yeh Yi-jin (葉宜津) said.
At a separate press conference, DPP lawmakers Chen Chi-mai (陳其邁), Lee Chun-yi (李俊俋), Pasuya Yao (姚文智) and Su Cheng-ching (蘇震清) also demanded that Ma disclose the details of his state affairs fund account and offer a clear explanation on three points.
“Ma has to explain whether the fund has been used for personal donations, where the donations have gone and whether the fund has been used to bankroll Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) activities,” Chen said.
Chen added that lawmakers planned to establish a document request committee in the Legislative Yuan to conduct an investigation into the matter.