Infrastructure plan budget could fund school lunches for 37 years: Hau

The China Post news staff

Former Taipei City Mayor and Kuomintang chairmanship candidate Hau Lung-bin has blasted the government’s NT$880 billion infrastructure plan, arguing the funds could be better spent on the people. In a Facebook post Wednesday, Hau criticized the ruling party for pushing the bill through the Economics Committee without adequate debate. Scuffles broke out as KMT lawmakers attempted to filibuster and block a line-by-line reading of the bill. “Has Taiwan become a fascist state?” Hau asked.

Elaborating on how the funds could be used alternatively, the KMT heavyweight said the NT$880 billion could: – Fund free school lunches for all primary school students nationwide for 37 years – Provide weekly food subsidies for the nation’s 3.15 million senior citizens for 30 years – Provide NT$3600 in economic stimulus vouchers to all citizens (as done during the financial crisis) for a decade – Provide child care subsidies including for tuition and immunization for children under 5, for an estimated 40 years – Provide the estimated 3.27 million workers making less than NT$30,000 a month with extra income (10 percent of their salary) for nine years The Cabinet earlier this month approved the Forward-looking Infrastructure Development Program, which includes massive spending on new subway and tram lines, digital technology development, and renewable energy. Opponents have criticized the plan as favoring constituencies administered by the ruling Democratic Progressive Party.