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After cuts, DPP caucus points to Cabinet allowances

The Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) legislative caucus yesterday called on the president, premier and Cabinet ministers to halve their special allowances for the upcoming fiscal year.

After three hours of negotiation on Thursday, political parties at the Legislative Yuan agreed to slash lawmakers' allowances by NT$860,000 per person for the next fiscal year — about 47 percent of their NT$1.83 million allowance.

DPP lawmakers yesterday demanded 50-percent cuts to private allowances distributed to heads of the Executive Yuan.

Special allowances include the “heads of central government special fee” (中央各部會首長特別費) of NT$145.812 million, the president's “state affairs fund”(總統國務機要費) of NT$40 million, the “Executive Yuan ministers administrative affairs fee” (行政院長行政機要費) of NT$9 million and the “Executive Yuan ministers special fund” (行政院長特別費) of NT$1.266 million.

“That money is the Executive Yuan leaders' private money — they use it to socialize and to bestow presents,” said DPP caucus Secretary-General Tsai Chi-chang (蔡其昌).

“The Legislative Yuan is willing to confront the difficulties of the nation by cutting the legislators' budget. We urge the president, the premier and Taiwan's ministers to work together to save on the nation's expenses,” he said.

DPP Legislator Huang Wei-cher (黃偉哲) said yesterday that if the president, premier and other Cabinet leaders are unwilling to respond and face the demands of the public, the DPP legislative caucus will promote the cuts during budget review.

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