Legislature cuts government budget by 1.1 percent

The Legislature on Thursday passed a NT$2.689 trillion (US$88.59 billion) central government general budget plan for fiscal 2023, after cutting NT$30 billion, or 1.1 percent, from the original spending proposal.

The reduction of NT$30 billion, or 1.1 percent of the government-proposed budget of NT$2.71 trillion, was the highest absolute amount since 2014, though it was also the lowest percentage cut from the budget since that year.

The spending cut was agreed upon by the ruling Democratic Progressive Party and three opposition parties through negotiation, to facilitate the passage of the bill before the Legislature entered winter recess for a month Thursday.

The main targets of the cuts were allowances for government officials to make overseas trips to attend training programs, maintenance fees for government buildings, facilities, vehicles, office appliances or equipment, and the budgets earmarked for policy advertisements.

Of the NT$2.689 trillion in spending, the largest chunk of NT$715.4 billion was social welfare spending, or 26.3 percent of the central government's general budget, followed by NT$496.2 billion on education, technology and culture (18.2%) and NT$483.1 billion on economic development (17.8%).

The allocation of NT$415.1 billion for the Ministry of National Defense came next, a 12.9 percent year-on-year increase and a record high. Total defense spending for this year will reach NT$586.3 billion with the addition of special budgets and other funds, according to the ministry.

The Legislature projected revenue to be NT$2.579 trillion this year.

Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel