The Taipei Times reports on the regional disparities in the central government development budget:
According to the Ministry of Finance, Taipei is to receive NT$36.3 billion (US$1.2 billion), averaging NT$10 billion more than the New Taipei City and Greater Kaohsiung, which have larger populations than Taipei.The essence of colonialism is that it is extractive. The colonizer extracts resources from the colonized population and transfers them back to its own people. In the Taiwan case, that is Taipei sucking resources out of the south and spending them on the heavily pro-KMT city. This arrangement is one reason why Taipei people vote for the KMT year after year -- it results in concrete lifestyle benefits. The amazing metro system in Taipei is possible only because people in Pingtung and Chiayi are starved for development funds they need.
Taipei would receive an average of NT$13,500 per resident, almost double the amount per resident in New Taipei City, Yilan, Changhua and Hsinchu counties.
According to Ministry of Finance, fund distribution next year — not including a special overall planning fund — is estimated at NT$225 billion, a NT$17.3 billion increase from last year.
A total of NT$205 billion is to be distributed among 22 local governments, with NT$19.4 billion to be shared among townships, the ministry data said.
The five special municipalities and Taoyuan County, which is due to become the nation’s sixth special municipality on Dec. 25, are to receive more than NT$145.6 billion of the fund, the data showed.
Why do the South and Center feel colonized? Simple: resources go out, but they don't come back. In recent years several cities have upgraded to the municipality level to gain a greater share of the nation's development resources. Currently the Act Governing the Allocation of revenues calls for 43% of revenue to go to special municipalities (Taipei, New Taipei, K-town, Taichung, and Tainan) and 57% to everywhere else. One reason the north gets away with more is that when Tainan and Taichung upgraded, they merged the city proper with the surrounding county, meaning that they got only modest total increases in funds, since the county and city had separate funding. New Taipei City, however, was not required to merge with anything, meaning that New Taipei City saw real increases in development funding, and the north continues to dominate in development funding.
As you can see, Taipei continues to retain more than its share, and yet as a center of headquarters, government, and finance, it produces nothing tradeable, just services (nearly half the nation's services are produced in Taipei). The real work of Taiwan takes place elsewhere, with Kaohsiung and Taoyuan (due to be upgraded to a municipality this year) producing nearly a third of the nation's industrial production. The independence sentiment so strong in central and southern Taiwan is the direct result of this transfer of resources out of the productive regions of Taiwan into Taipei. Note that Greater Kaohsiung's population is larger than Taipei's but it gets a smaller amount of development funding than Taipei.
This is why the DPP has consistently attempted to move government functions, and the government itself, out of Taipei and elsewhere. Just this year the Ma Administration recalled the Fisheries Agency to Taipei...
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