Government proposes largest ever defence budget
The government is seeking to increase defence spending by 3.5% next year. The Presidential Office says total defence spending, which includes allocations to the Ministry of National Defense (MND), as well as special budgets and other funds, will reach NT$606.8 billion under the proposed budget. That represents the highest absolute amount Taiwan has allocated for defence.
Defence figures were part of the 2024 budget which President Tsai Ing-wen put before the cabinet, and it sets total government spending for next year at NT$2.882 trillion. That figure is a 7% increase from this year's general budget and it projects total revenues of NT$2.709 trillion.
Social welfare spending will account for the largest portion of the budget and receive the largest funding increase. Just over NT$120 billion will be allocated to programmes related to Taiwan's low birth rate and ageing population, while NT$87 billion has been budgeted for long-term care services for the elderly. The budget plan also allocates NT$115 billion toward paying off the national debt, and the most allocated in more than two decades.
More details on the proposed 2024 budget are expected to be released after it is presented at a cabinet meeting on Thursday.