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Proposed defense budget for 2015 sees NT$8 billion increase

TAIPEI, Taiwan -- The government-proposed defense budget for 2015 has seen a NT$8 billion growth in comparison to the 2014 budget, with the increased spending mainly allocated for military investment and the maintenance of facilities, a ruling lawmaker said yesterday.

Citing a proposed defense budget sent to the Legislative Yuan pending review earlier this week, Kuomintang (KMT) Legislator Lin Yu-fang (林郁方) said yesterday that Taiwan's defense budget for 2015 stands at NT$319.3 billion.

The number has seen an NT$8.2 billion increase in comparison last year's amount, he said in a released statement.

Expenditure on military personnel remains the largest category, accounting for NT$143.1 billion, or a 44.8-percent share of total spending, he said.

 However, the number is still significantly lower than a year ago, an NT$9.2 billion drop from 2014.

With the huge decrease in spending on personnel maintenance, the military has largely increased the budget on military investment and the maintenance of facilities, Lin said.

Money to be allocated for military investment that could be used to purchase new weapons systems has seen a NT$11.8 billion surge compared to last year, the lawmaker said.

The increase in the category means that R.O.C. armed forces now have more money to be spent on buying weapons to boost its defense capability, he noted.

The money is expected to be used in buying an additional 36 AAV-7A1 amphibious assault vehicles as well as UAVs with attack capabilities, the lawmaker cited the budget proposal as saying.

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