Miaoli County Faces Financial Disaster

Miaoli County’s debt problems came to a head in June, with the county facing a NT$10 billion budget deficit that prevented the county government from paying not only its creditors, but also its employees. Payroll checks were finally distributed during the third week of July after the central government provided NT$800 million in funds to the beleaguered county. The Ministry of Finance has stepped in to oversee the county’s finances, and a restructuring package worth NT$4.2 billion has been provided, mainly relying on loans from the state-owned Bank of Taiwan. A surge of investment in infrastructure projects left the county highly in debt, with construction companies comprising the largest portion of creditors.