TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — The Legislative Yuan approved the NT$2.27 trillion (US$81.83 billion) central government budget for 2022 on Friday (Jan. 28), the eve of the Lunar New Year holiday.
According to legal requirements, the package should have been passed by Dec. 31, CNA reported. In order to make up for that, the Legislative Yuan decided to meet for an extra session from Jan. 5 to Friday.
Lawmakers cut NT$27 billion, or 1.19%, from the government proposal, the deepest cut since the 2014 budget. Nevertheless, a sum of NT$16.3 billion earmarked for a 4% salary raise for civil servants, teachers and military personnel went through unchallenged, reports said.
The last day of the legislative budget discussions was marred by a sudden action from the main opposition party the Kuomintang (KMT), whose lawmakers alleged the government was planning to announce an end to the ban on food imports from Japanese regions affected by the 2011 Fukushima nuclear disaster once the budget was passed.
The Cabinet denied the allegations, and the ruling Democratic Progressive Party’s (DPP) top lawmaker apologized for comments by one caucus member in favor of the Japanese imports. As a result, discussions about the budget resumed and the package passed without further obstacles.