Taiwan lawmakers approve reduced budget

TAIPEI (AP) - Taiwan's legislature approved the 2013 government budget after cutting proposed spending by 2 per cent amid an expected tax shortfall in the lacklustre economy.

In the budget approved late Tuesday, total government spending will be limited to NT$1.9 trillion (S$80.3 billion), incurring a deficit of NT$174 billion.

Premier Sean Chen says the Cabinet will implement the required austerity measures while trying to reduce their negative impact on the economy.

Lawmakers froze the annual bonus payment of NT$290,000 for Economics Minister Shih Yen-hsiang, saying he can receive it only if the first two quarters of economic growth reach the targeted 3 per cent.

Taiwan's economy grew only 1.1 per cent last year because of weak global demand for the island's electronics exports.

Growth of 3 per cent is projected for this year.