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DPP supports canning gov't bureaus' year-end banquets

TAIPEI, Taiwan -- The Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) yesterday backed the central government's cancellation of year-end banquets, adding that the party itself does not routinely hold such dinners.

DPP caucus whip Ker Chien-ming said the DPP did not usually throw year-end banquets and this year would remain the same.

Taiwan Solidarity Union Legislator Huang Wen-ling (黃文玲) said year-end banquets were a way to show gratitude and reward workers for the past year, but noted that employers can employ other more cost-effective ways to show appreciation.

Amid a raft of government restructures and reforms, the Examination Yuan announced last year that they were canceling their year-end banquets.

In the wake of this announcement, the Executive Yuan, the Presidential Office, the Control Yuan and the Judicial Yuan all announced last week that they were canceling their banquets, explaining that in the current dire economy it was not suitable for a celebratory feast.

The Ministry of Economic Affairs chimed in yesterday, saying that if the Cabinet had decided to cancel, then there was no reason for them to throw a party either.

Though the moves were well received by the opposition parties, restaurants complained that the trend away from banquets has hurt their businesses.

Lin Ching-chen (林金城), Taipei's Food and Beverage Union chairman, explained that the year-end banquet business has decreased by 30-40 percent. The main reason is that many businesses are not making money due to the economy, he said, adding that some companies don't even have the budget to hand out year-end bonuses.

Despite the trend, the Ministry of National Defense (MND) and the Legislative Yuan insisted on holding their year-end banquets, as they are a long-running tradition.

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