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Ma lauds premier over year-end bonus plan

By Adam Tyrsett Kuo--President Ma Ying-jeou yesterday expressed approval of the Executive Yuan's recently announced adjustment plan for the annual year-end bonuses given out to retired civil servants, military personnel and public school teachers.

Under the new plan, only those who receive a monthly pension of less than NT$20,000, and families of those who died or were seriously injured on duty will be eligible for the bonus.

Minister Huang Fu-yuan (黃富源) of the Directorate-General of Personnel Administration (行政院人事行政總處) was invited to give a report on the adjustment plan at the Kuomintang's (KMT) weekly Central Standing Committee meeting yesterday.

After hearing the report, Ma, who also acts as KMT chairman, lauded Premier Sean Chen for coming up with a fair plan in less than a week's time.

The original budget for the annual year-end bonuses stood at NT$19.2 billion. Under the new plan, this will be adjusted to NT$1 billion.

The administrative team led by Chen has come up with a swift solution to a complicated problem, Ma said.

“We understand that many civil servants, military personnel and public school teachers might be upset,” Ma added, but said that their dismay is not entirely related to the issue of money; some have felt humiliated during the recent heated public debate.

“These retirees have spent a large portion of their lives serving their country,” Ma stressed.

The president said that the review of the annual year-end bonus is timely, that he fully supports the Cabinet's plan, and that he wishes to see the adjustments be put into effect as soon as possible.

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