TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – At Thursday's regular weekly Cabinet meeting, Premier William Lai (賴清德) unveiled a central government budget which for the first time sailed past the NT$2 trillion (US$64.9 billion) mark.
In 2019, the government hopes to spend NT$2.022 trillion (US$65.6 billion) following two years of rising tax revenue amid a rebounding economy, the Central News Agency reported.
Priorities for next year included public infrastructure, defense, the strengthening of technological development, the training of talent, the lightening of the burden for parents and support for local government finances, Lai explained at the news conference after the Cabinet meeting.
The new budget for 2019 was the result of consultations with ministries and departments which began last January, according to the premier. The basic principle was that expenditures should not grow faster than income, he added.
The projected spending figures amounted to a rise of 2.8 percent from the 2018 budget, CNA reported. Social welfare amounted to the largest chunk, NT$492.2 billion, followed by education, science and culture with NT$422.8 billion, defense at NT$329.5 billion, and economic development at NT$248.2 billion.
The second phase of the government’s Forward-looking Infrastructure Development Plan amounted to NT$227.5 billion.
The budget deficit was projected to drop by NT$2.7 billion to NT$45 billion for 2019, CNA reported.