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May 28, 2017

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KMT caucus resolves to cut research and accommodation allowances: Wu

The Kuomintang (KMT) legislative caucus resolved yesterday to eliminate accommodation and research allowances for lawmakers, according to KMT caucus whip Wu Yu-sheng (吳育昇).

KMT lawmaker Tsai Cheng-yuan (蔡正元) recently proposed eliminating nine legislative allowances, arguing that none of them have a legal basis. In response, the ruling party's legislative caucus held a meeting yesterday to discuss the suitability of the allowances.

Caucus members resolved to eliminate accommodation allowances, which is a monthly amount of NT$18,000 per legislator, and to eliminate research allowances, which is an annual amount of NT$100,000 per legislator, said Wu.

"The caucus will further consider the suitability of other allowances," Wu said. "Unnecessary or unreasonable allowances will be eliminated. We plan to remove more than 20 percent of the total amount."

KMT lawmaker Lai Shyh-bao (賴士葆) said yesterday that the nine allowances might as well all be eliminated, since there seems to be such a stigma attached to them.

The ruling party's Chan Kai-chin (詹凱臣), on the other hand, said that travel and survey expenses should be reimbursed, adding that many legislators go abroad for diplomatic purposes when the Legislature is in recess. "For example," he explained, "I went to Los Angeles in July to attend five forums. But if the people feel that these reimbursements are unreasonable, then we have no choice but to accept that."

Pingtung-based KMT lawmaker Wang Chin-shih (王進士) added that travel allowances for lawmakers of remote regions should be treated differently. With regard to Tsai's proposal, Wang added, "some of us are more righteous than others."

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