The central government’s budget plan will be the main focus of the new legislature
Taipei, Sept. 1 (CNA) Opposition party lawmakers said they would prioritize consideration of a NT$2.71 trillion (NT$90.01 billion) draft general government budget plan. dollars) for the 2023 fiscal year, as they began registering for the new legislative session on Thursday morning.
Registration of the 113 lawmakers in the Legislative Yuan for the new session began on Thursday and will last until Friday evening. But the “opening date” of the new session has yet to be decided by the four party caucuses through negotiations.
Kuomintang (KMT) lawmaker Hung Mong-kai (洪孟楷), the first to complete the registration process, told local media on Thursday that his party’s lawmakers would focus on reviewing the central government‘s budget plan. of 2023, in particular the proposed expenditures for the newly created Ministry of Digital Affairs and the acquisition of vaccines.
The Ministry of Digital Affairs, which has been given a broad mandate to oversee the development of digital infrastructure and cybersecurity in Taiwan, was inaugurated on August 27.
August 27: President Tsai inaugurates the new Ministry of Digital Affairs
The government has budgeted NT$5.7 billion for the new ministry in its 2023 general budget plan alone.
Hung added that he would spare no effort to “hold the government accountable” while “speaking in the interest of the people of Taiwan.”
Similarly, Taiwan People’s Party (TPP) lawmaker Chiu Chen-yuan (邱臣遠) said on Thursday that TPP lawmakers will prioritize proposed national defense spending in the central government‘s budget plan presented by the Cabinet at the end of August. .
The government has proposed record national defense spending for 2023 to buy additional weapons amid a growing military threat from China, Chiu said.
But what remains to be seen is whether those items the government plans to buy can actually meet the country’s needs for self-defense, he added.
The government has set a national defense budget of NT$415.1 billion for next year, which is 14.6 percent of the overall proposed budget plan for 2023.
August 25: Cabinet approves NT$2.71 trillion central government budget for 2023
With additional special budgets and other funds, total planned national defense spending for 2023 will reach NT$586.3 billion, according to the Ministry of National Defense, which is about 2.4 percent of gross domestic product. (GDP) of Taiwan.
Meanwhile, Legislator and New Power Party (NPP) Chairwoman Chen Jiau-hua (陳椒華) said her party hoped the overall budget plan could be discussed as soon as possible.
With this in mind, Chen suggested that the first legislative meeting on the prosecution, which usually takes place on Tuesdays and Fridays, be scheduled for September 6.
In addition to the budget plan, Chen and fellow KMT deputy Yeh Yu-lan (葉毓蘭) also mentioned the proposed amendment to the law regulating the use of police weapons as another issue they would focus on.
The proposed revision, which would give police officers more discretion over the use of firearms in emergency situations, came under the spotlight after two police officers in Tainan died of serious stab wounds after being attacked by a man suspected of stealing a motorbike on August 22. .