Newspaper article China Post

Ma Proposes NT$10 Mil. Cut from His State Affairs Fund

Newspaper article China Post

Ma Proposes NT$10 Mil. Cut from His State Affairs Fund

Article excerpt

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President Ma Ying-jeou said yesterday that he is willing to cut NT$10 million from his state affairs fund ([...]) in an effort to realign partisan focus on the economy.

Although the economy remains sluggish at the moment, there are signs of a slow recovery, Ma said, adding that the government is also currently facing financial difficulties.

The president went on to say that he has therefore decided to cut his state affairs fund by NT$10 million.

He further called on members of the ruling and opposition parties not to waste their time on unnecessary confrontation, urging them rather to focus on improving the economy.

Presidential spokesman Fan Jiang Tai-chi ([...]) pointed out that certain media outlets have misled the public by providing incorrect information, such as claiming that the state affairs fund stood at NT$20 million under former President Chen Shui-bian - half of Ma's NT$40 million.

Fan Jiang said that the fund had reached as high as NT$50 million under Chen, while the lowest amount was NT$30 million - both of which are substantially higher than the purported NT$20 million.

After Ma assumed the presidency, the state affairs fund moved between NT$30 million and NT$40 million, the spokesman added.

Fan Jiang also said that the fund is used to aid minority and education groups, as well as family members of military personnel and police who die in the line of duty.

The Legislative Yuan is currently reviewing the central government's budget for 2013. If the Legislature approves the NT$10 million cut, the fund will be readjusted to NT$30 million.

According to local reports, the fund stood at approximately NT$50.57 million in 1998 and 1999 under former President Lee Teng-hui - the same as in 2002 and 2003 under Chen; while in 2008 and 2009, the fund stood at NT$30 million under Ma.

Focus on Economy, Don't Blame Opposition: Su

Democratic Progressive Party Chairman Su Tseng-chang ([...]) said yesterday that the important thing is not how much the fund is cut, but rather how it is used.

The fund has been increasing ever since Ma took office, Su said, adding that it should indeed be cut, but what concerns the public is how the fund is used. …

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