Taipei-The Legislative Yuan on Monday passed the central government budget for 2020, which projects a budget surplus of roughly NT$30 billion, or about 1.4 percent of total spending.
In final budget negotiations, lawmakers cut the Cabinet's proposed expenditure by 1.17 percent to NT$2.077 trillion (US$68.72 billion) and added NT$4.76 billion to the revenue projected by the government to bring total budgeted revenue to NT$2.107 trillion.
During the initial review of the budget during the last four months of the year, lawmakers cut only NT$1.5 billion from the proposed NT$2.102 trillion in government expenditure, and raised 2,473 proposals for budget changes.
They failed to finish reviewing the proposals before the end of their regular session in December, and an extraordinary session of the Legislature was held starting on Jan. 14 to complete the review of the proposals, 39 of which ended up passing.
A proposal by the opposition Kuomintang (KMT) to cut or freeze budgets for the Ill-gotten Party Assets Settlement Committee and the Transitional Justice Commission because of what it argued was the lack of neutrality of the two bodies, failed to pass.
Lawmakers from the KMT, People First Party and New Power Party also attempted to cut and freeze the NT$427.6 million budget for the new national electronic identification card system over security and privacy concerns, but their proposals failed as well.
The ruling Democratic Progressive Party, which has a firm majority in the Legislature, pushed through a temporary 10 percent freeze of the new ID system instead.
The proposal requires the Ministry of the Interior to gather opinions on the new system, alleviate the public's concerns over security, report its findings to the Legislature's Internal Administration Committee, and gain the committee's approval, before the money can be used.
Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel