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Wages Taiwan government officials should be halved: DPP
Taiwan News, Staff Writer
2012-10-04 05:46 PM
TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – The wages of top government officials should be halved if economic growth failed to reach 3 percent for two consecutive quarters or if the unemployment rate stayed above 4 percent for two consecutive months, the Democratic Progressive Party said Thursday.

The party said it would officially propose to cut the monthly salaries of the president, the premier and his ministers during the full legislative session Friday.

DPP legislative whip Tsai Chi-chang said that if the government used the above conditions to refuse an immediate rise in the basic minimum wage for laborers, it should also be prepared to accept the same conditions for the salaries of its top officials. The government needed to take responsibility for poor economic statistics, he said.

Earlier, ruling Kuomintang lawmaker Liao Cheng-ching proposed that the year-end bonus for top government officials should be cancelled if the official economic indicators had not significantly improved within three months. Civil Service Minister Chang Che-shen said he agreed with Liao’s suggestion, but that it was up to the Executive Yuan to make such a decision.

The opposition Taiwan Solidarity Union said that government officials should voluntarily give up part of their wages if the economy was bad, even without legislation forcing them to do so.

Ruling Kuomintang legislative whip Wu Yu-sheng disagreed, describing the DPP proposal as a form of irrational politicking. Government officials also had families to support, he said.

KMT legislator Alex Tsai wanted to expand the measure to include several levels of elected officials, including local and regional government leaders as well as lawmakers.

Other legislators warned that penalizing bureaucrats for an international economic crisis would only force able officials to leave government and seek jobs elsewhere.

The proposals for cuts in salaries for government officials followed statements by President Ma Ying-jeou that he wanted the Cabinet to show results and improve the impression of the public that the economy was recovering. Critics accused the president of promising the impossible while maintaining high payments to government leaders unable to feel the same economic problems as the public did.

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