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Wednesday, March 26, 2008

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First Thing After Ma Ying-Jeou Elected: Pay Off Local Chiefs


KMT's lawmakers (top to bottom), Yang Chiung-Ying (楊瓊纓), Chu Fong-Chi (朱鳳芝) and Ting Shou-Chung (丁守中) are pushing a resolution to pay oversea travel expenses for local district chiefs.
It's only 2 days after Ma Ying-jeou was elected the President of Taiwan, and the lawmakers of his party, Chinese KMT, can't wait to pass resolutions to pay off local Chun-,Li- Zhangs (村里長), heads of small local districts who help handling and resolving local affairs, including helping the presidential voting in their own districts.

It's long been known that KMT has deeper root in the locals. That's, maintaining better relationships with these local district chiefs -- following KMT's long history of local managements. DPP, in contrary, either pays much less attention to them, or the approaches DPP applied failed miserably.

Yesterday (3/25/2008), the 2nd business day after Ma was elected, Chinese KMT's lawmakers submitted resolutions to pay these locals.

Yang Chiung-Ying (楊瓊纓), Chu Fong-Chi (朱鳳芝) and Ting Shou-Chung (丁守中) submitted a resolution "Compensation to Chun-, Li-Zhangs' Oversea Travel expenses" (補助村里長出國考察) to add "oversea travel funds" to the compensations given to local district chiefs.

Instead of sourcing the funds from local governments like the current law (「地方民代費用支給及村里長事務費補助條例」) requires, this resolution, an amendment to the current one, requires that the additional compensation be paid for by the central government.

Since this resolution requires a huge budget, it is expected to raise suspicions, especially when the government is in grave debt and doesn't seem to have funds for this.

Yang Chiung-Ying explains:

"Broadly defined, Chun-Li Zhangs are government officials. People like military personnel, government officials, teachers and people's representatives all have compensations. We shouldn't leave Chun-Li- Zhangs behind."

But every local chief already receives 45,000 NT dollars per month (~ roughly 1,500 US dollars per month). The new resolution doubles it.

For your information, a Kapitan in Malaysia, a local district chief similar to a Chun-Li Zhang in Taiwan, receives roughly 150 US dollars a month, and that's after a recent adjustment from ~83 US dollars a month.

Yang argues,

"That's not enough. They need to travel oversea at least once every other year to relax and expand their views."

Huh? Why?

So, now, the central government is gonna pay for oversea travels for these local district chiefs ?

Ok, how much money are we talking about here?

Yang responds -- take a deeeeep breath, guys --

"I don't know. I didn't calculate it. But the resolution has to be passed in this session."

So you wanna pass a law to take money from Taiwanese pockets, but you don't even bother to calculate how much money you are talking about?

And no matter how large the amount is, "it has to be passed in this session" ??? She sounded like she will have to run for life if it isn't passed in this session.

So, hand over your money gracefully, fellow Taiwanese !

According to DPP, the resolution requires more than 5,000 million NT dollars (五十幾億, that's, more than 170 million US dollars), which is difficult for the central government to deal with. Besides, it should be local government's business, there's no reason to ask the central government to pay.


Yang Jen-Fu (楊仁福, top) and Lin Chien-Jung (林建榮, bottom)
Other resolutions regarding senior citizen compensations, submitted by Yang Jen-Fu (楊仁福), Lin Chien-Jung (林建榮) and others, require that the compensations to senior citizens be doubled.

Again, when asked how much it involves, Yang Jen-Fu has no idea at all.

So, after Ma Ying-Jeou emphasized for months how urgent it is to fix Taiwan's economy, the first thing Ma and his people do right after him being elected is to pay off local district chiefs, using central government's money, no matter how much it takes and has to do it RIGHT NOW !

Ma Ying-Jeou is really "fixing" the economy for ya all, isn't he?

Hey, hold on ... they do it legally ! They have the majority in the Legislative Yuan, they can do whatever they want, remember? This is what ya all wanted, isn't it ?

~~~ Fading into the background : What? we don't know how much it is? Who cares ! We are gonna pass it anyway ! ~~~

[Source : Blue pushes for money pit resolutions right after the election]
大選結束 藍委急推錢坑法案
中時電子報╱姚盈如、高有智/台北報導 2008-03-26 03:44

總統選舉剛結束,「完全執政」的藍營,就急著在立法院提出「錢坑法案」?立法院廿五日程序委員會上,國民黨立委楊瓊纓所提的補助村里長出國考察,以及楊仁福所提的敬老津貼、原住民敬老津貼皆從三千元加碼到六千元等修正案,都在藍營人數優勢下排入周五院會報告事項。

由於這些法案都需要龐大預算支撐,在財源無著的情況下,預料將引發外界質疑。

補助村里長 兩年出國一次

現行「地方民代費用支給及村里長事務費補助條例」第七條規定,村里長的事務補助費由鄉鎮市區公所編列,每個村里每月不得超過四萬五千元。

國民黨立委楊瓊纓、朱鳳芝和丁守中等人提出修正案,希望在事務補助費之外,再增加村里長的健康檢查費、保險費、春節慰問金及出國考察費費等預算;上述費用連同原本的事務補助費,草案中都改由中央買單。

楊瓊纓表示,村里長是廣義公務員,也是最基層的地方代表,軍公教人員和民意代表都有「春節慰問金」,不應獨漏村里長。

雖然現在村里長每個月都有四萬五的事務補助費,但楊瓊纓認為,村里長是等於廿四小時都上班,還要應付地方紅白帖,大的村里人口甚至可達一萬多人,里長比縣議員還累,「四萬五根本不夠用!」她認為村里長最起碼也要兩年出國一次,「讓村里長可以出國增廣見聞、舒展身心。」

讓村里長增加這麼多「好康」,到底要增加多少預算?

楊瓊纓坦承,她沒有算過。但她強調,這個法案攸關基層村里長權益,「這屆一定要過!」只要國民黨執政把餅做大,財政上應該不會有問題。

但民進黨團幹部私下透露,這個法案要內政部多支出五十幾億,財政有困難;而且村里事務是地方自治事項,硬要中央出錢,制度上也不合理。

敬老津貼 三千元加到六千

楊仁福、林建榮等人則是提出敬老津貼和原住民敬老津貼比照老農年金,從三千元加碼到六千元的修正案,理由是「物價上漲,敬老津貼也應該跟著漲,才能達到照顧老人的目的。」但津貼全面加碼要增加多少預算,楊仁福自己也不知道

國民黨政策會執行長林益世表示,雖然這幾個法案關乎財政支出,但目前大家看到的內容只是委員初步提案,通常在付委審查、還有朝野協商後,內容都會有所調整。

他說,楊瓊纓和楊仁福的提案,事前的確有人建議擋下,但他個人傾向採取開放態度,他認為,只要不是涉及政治衝突、或政府體制變動的法案,基本上都不應該擋,最好儘量讓法案付委審查,充分討論後再做決定。
[source]

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7 Comments:

At 4:12 AM, Blogger eugene said...

Good post. I hope the citizens are aware that any time the government passes laws to increase expenses, salaries, subsidies, etc., it's really just emptying taxpayers' wallets!

Although the DPP has minority standing in the Legislative Yuan and cannot do much to stop KMT's legislation, I hope the DPP will use these opportunities to win over the citizens. In other words, fight the battle in the Legislative Yuan, but also the war of public opinion.

 
At 6:48 AM, Blogger channing said...

Not trying to justify this "payoff" behaviour, but one point I thought I might bring up is that average incomes and living costs in Malaysia are proportionally lower.

 
At 1:40 PM, Blogger 阿牛 said...

Wow. Just wow.

 
At 9:17 PM, Blogger STOP Ma said...

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What. A. Shocker!
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.

 
At 11:57 AM, Blogger B.BarNavi said...

Eyzeh chutzpah. At least PRETEND you're not not so blatantly mob-like. I mean, couldn't they have made this under-the table?

 
At 5:27 PM, Blogger STOP Ma said...

.
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Eyzeh chutzpah. At least PRETEND you're not not so blatantly mob-like. I mean, couldn't they have made this under-the table?

It would be "chutzpah" if the majority of Taiwanese actually cared that corruption is prevalent in politics. Sadly, it is business as usual for the most part.
.
.
.

 
At 8:07 AM, Blogger Taiwan Echo said...

channing: Not trying to justify this "payoff" behaviour, but one point I thought I might bring up is that average incomes and living costs in Malaysia are proportionally lower.

I know. I just don't believe that Taiwan is now 20 times richer than Malaysia. 20 times, that's what KMT lawmakers are asking for.

 

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