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Miaoli County government has no money to pay salaries (update)

2015/07/10 16:53:36

Miaoli County Magistrate Hsu Yao-chang.

Taipei, July 10 (CNA) Miaoli County Magistrate Hsu Yao-chang (徐耀昌) went to Taipei on Friday to seek financial assistance from the central government because the county has no money to pay its employees.

Due to a shortage of funds, the county government could not pay salaries for July to its employees on Friday, which was supposed to be payday.

The county government is currently NT$64.8 billion in debt. It has to spend NT$600 million a month on staff salaries and had an additional NT$600 million in pension obligations for retired staff in July.

Since Hsu assumed office in December, the county government has postponed payday from the fifth day of each month to the 10th. In April, the payment of salaries was delayed to the 13th day of the month.

During his meeting with Premier Mao Chi-kuo (毛治國), Hsu requested that the central government give Miaoli a NT$10 billion bailout.

According to Hsu, the Cabinet wanted Miaoli to present a financial reform plan as soon as possible. The central government will only agree to the request if the plan is approved, he said.

He blamed his extravagant predecessor Liu Cheng-hung (劉政鴻) for the financial crisis faced by Miaoli today.

Cabinet spokesman Sun Lih-chyun (孫立群), meanwhile, said the discussion between Hsu and Mao mainly focused on Miaoli's financial structure.

Miaoli's annual revenue totals NT$22 billion while expenditures total NT$32 billion, resulting in a shortfall of NT$10 billion, Sun said.

Of the NT$32 billion in expenditures, construction project payments and retention payments account for NT$17 billion, he said.

The central government therefore suggested that Miaoli borrow money from banks, and the central government will use the centrally-allocated fund to repay the money to banks, he said.

He said the central government also proposed that Miaoli adjust the priority order of its expenditures. In the second half of this year, Miaoli is expected to receive NT$10 billion in revenue, which will be sufficient to cover the county's basic administrative expenses of NT$5 billion, he added.

He said the Cabinet has been helping Miaoli resolve its financial problems. In January and July, for example, the Cabinet has paid the centrally-allocated fund to Miaoli ahead of the expected date, he said.

(By Kuan Jui-ping, Tang Pei-chun and Y.F. Low)
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