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Cabinet adopts new budget plan

2017/09/14 18:33:27

Premier Lai Ching-te (賴清德, center) and cabinet spokesman Hsu Kuo-yung (徐國勇, second left)

Taipei, Sept. 14 (CNA) The Executive Yuan approved the general budget plan for 2018 at NT$1.9918 trillion (US$66.124 billion) on Thursday, up NT$6.8 billion from the previous Cabinet's calculation of NT$1.985 trillion, according to the Directorate-General of Budget, Accounting and Statistics.

Premier Lai Ching-te (賴清德) recalled the previous Cabinet's 2018 central government general budget proposal, which had already been sent to the Legislative Yuan for review, as soon as he was sworn into office on Sept. 8.

The new budget plan includes a 3 percent pay rise for civil servants, public school teachers and military personnel, effective Jan. 1, 2018, which will increase the government's annual payroll by NT$18 billion.

The increase is expected to be covered by securities transaction tax revenues of NT$7 billion, with the remaining NT$11 billion coming from cutting back on expenses.

Cabinet spokesman Hsu Kuo-yung (徐國勇) said the premier expressed that the pay rise is to show support for public sector employees and to encourage private enterprises to follow suit in the hope of stimulating spending and boosting the economy.

Also, due to the adjustment of the minimum monthly wage to NT$22,000 in 2018, the Ministry of Labor's subsidy toward labor and health insurance will increase by NT$1 billion.

Lai said that while the bill is being examined in the Legislature, all ministry and department leaders must strengthen their communications with all parties and legislators, so that they can immediately address any concerns or questions the lawmakers might have, in order to ensure that the proposed budget can be approved on time.

(By Ku Chuan and William Yen)