The Ministry of National Defense’s estimated budget for fiscal 2022 tops those of other government agencies and is expected to grow by at least NT$10 billion (US$357.1 million), or 2.7 percent, Directorate-General of Budget, Accounting and Statistics (DGBAS) Minister Chu Tzer-ming (朱澤民) said yesterday.
The defense ministry is hoping to increase its budget for fiscal 2022 in light of increasing military harassment and threats from China, a source said on condition of anonymity.
Defense spending could surpass this year’s NT$361.7 billion, the source added.
The increase in defense spending for fiscal 2022 would not be lower than the average GDP growth over the past three years, Chu said.
The main cause for the increase would be rising personnel wages due to promotion of officers, he said.
The ministry’s fiscal 2022 budget would have been even higher if the already approved special budget allocated to it for the purchase of 66 F-16V jets were included, he added.
Chu declined to specify whether defense spending would grow by 2 percent or 3 percent next year.
Matters of national defense fall under the jurisdiction of the president, and President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) will have the final say on the defense budget, he said.
Government spending for fiscal 2022, especially for social welfare — which stands at NT$558.8 billion this year — is expected to surpass that of fiscal 2021, he added.
The government is not planning to increase stock transaction taxes for fiscal 2022, as the TAIEX has continued to reach new heights this year, he said.
The DGBAS is expected to present separate reports to Premier Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌) and Tsai on the planned government budget.
Government agencies are to begin reviewing their budget plans this month and deliver them to the Executive Yuan by late next month for approval, the DGBAS said.
Once the government budget is approved by the Executive Yuan, it would be forwarded to the Legislative Yuan for approval, it said.
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