The Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) caucus has proposed slashing the monthly retirement pay for former presidents and vice presidents to NT$80,000.
DPP legislators Liu Shih-fang (劉世芳), Wu Ping-jui (吳秉叡) and Tuan Yi-kang (段宜康) have submitted an amendment to the Act of Courtesy for Former Presidents and Vice Presidents (卸任總統副總統禮遇條例) to reduce the monthly benefits as part of the ongoing pension reform effort.
The stipends are currently NT$250,000 for former presidents and NT$180,000 for former vice presidents.
Reform opponents have demanded that the payments should be halved to ensure equality, Liu said.
Vice President Chen Chien-jen (陳建仁) has said that he and President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) would be willing to receive NT$75,000 per month in retirement, in line with the pension ceiling set for civil servants, Liu said.
Former president Lee Teng-hui (李登輝) was given a lifetime stipend when he left office, a 2006 amendment to the act reduced the entitlement period for other former leaders to 13 years and to four years for former vice presidents.
Former president Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) does not receive a stipend because a 2010 amendment stipulated that former heads of state who are convicted of treason, sedition or corruption lose all entities granted by the presidential courtesy act.
Chen was convicted of corruption and money-laundering in 2009 and sentenced to life in prison, although he was released on medical parole in January 2015 after serving six years.
He remains under confinement in his home in Kaohsiung.
The stipend period for former vice presidents Annette Lu (呂秀蓮) and Vincent Siew (蕭萬長) expired on May 19 last year, while former vice president Wu Den-yih (吳敦義) is set to receive NT$180,000 per month for three more years.
The DPP proposal is seen as targeting former vice president Lien Chan (連戰), who enjoys a better retirement package than other former leaders.
When he left office in 2000, the presidential courtesy act did not apply to former vice presidents, so Lien applied for a retirement pension under the now-abolished Statute Governing Retirement Pensions for Administrative Officers (政務人員退職酬勞金給與條例), which allows him to continue receiving pension benefits and the 18 percent preferential savings rate on pension payments indefinitely.
When the presidential courtesy act was amended to apply to former vice presidents, a grandfather clause was inserted to allow Lien to keep his NT$280,000 monthly stipend.
According to the Article 3-5 of the amended law: “If the Statute Governing Retirement Pensions for Administrative Officers has already been applied to any former vice president, the superannuation shall continue to apply.”
Liu said the 2001 and 2006 amendments were “tailored” for Lien’s benefit.
As a DPP lawmaker, she has a responsibility to support pensions reform and abolish unfair laws that improperly benefit specific individuals, Liu said.
“When all the retirement benefits of former presidents and vice presidents have expired, Lien would be the only one continuing to receive payments... We cannot but admire Lien for his unique existence,” she said. “The new amendment would scrap those absurd provisions.”
A study published by online booking platform Expedia revealed searches for travel to Taipei have ballooned 2,786 percent following the lifting of COVID-19 pandemic travel restrictions due to the city being a “designation dupe” for Seoul. The TikTok trend for duping — referring to substituting a designation for a more inexpensive alternative — helped propel interest in Taipei, it said in a consumer survey titled “Unpack ‘24,” which was conducted from September to October in 14 countries. Location dupes are “every bit as delightful as the tried-and-true places travelers love,” Expedia trend tracker Melanie Fish said of the year’s popular alternatives, which
SAFETY IN REGULATION: The proposal states that Chiayi should assess whether it is viable to establish such a district and draft rules to protect clients and sex workers The Chiayi City Council passed a motion yesterday to assess the viability of establishing a regulated red-light district. The council yesterday held its last session of the year, at which its fiscal 2024 budget was approved, along with 61 other proposals. The proposal to assess the viability of establishing a red-light district was put forward by independent Chiayi City Councilor Molly Yen (顏色不分藍綠支持性專區顏色田慎節). The proposal cited 2011 amendments to the Social Order Maintenance Act (社會秩序維護法), which stipulate that city and county governments can pass autonomous regulations on the sex trade to manage the industry and guarantee industry workers’ rights. A ban on the
A small-scale protest that called on the government to cancel its plan to welcome Indian migrant workers in a bid to tackle Taiwan’s labor shortage was held in Taipei yesterday. During the protest, comprised of a few dozen people staged in front of the Presidential Office on Ketagalan Boulevard, the protest’s chief initiator, a woman identified only as “Yuna” said they wanted the central government to reconsider allowing migrant workers from India to enter Taiwan. Most people in Taiwan had little knowledge about the potential plan to allow in Indian migrant workers until a report in the media last month, she
STABILITY AND CHANGE: Flagging in recent polls, Ko this week pledged to maintain President Tsai’s foreign policy, with an emphasis on improving China relations Taiwan People’s Party (TPP) Chairman and presidential candidate Ko Wen-je (柯文哲) yesterday reiterated that he is “deep-green at heart” in response to accusations that he is pivoting his campaign to align closer with the ideology of the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) in the face of flagging polls. Ko made the remark at an agricultural policy conference in Taipei, repeating his comments from an interview with CTS News a day earlier. Ko told the CTS host that he would continue to pursue President Tsai Ing-wen’s (蔡英文) national defense and foreign policy in general, but with an emphasis on establishing a rapport with