Fri, Dec 27, 2002 - Page 10 News List

Public believes civil servants should pay for economic slump

CNA , TAIPEI

A majority of salaried employees said civil servants should be the first to have their salaries cut to ease the impact of the nation's economic downturn, the results of a recent opinion poll showed yesterday.

The poll, conducted by the 1111 Job Bank (1111人力銀行), found that 61 percent of salaried men and women in Taiwan hope civil servants take the initiative and agree to salary cuts to lessen the government's financial burden amid national economic sluggishness.

According to the poll conducted via e-mail of thousands of salaried employees nationwide, 84 percent of the respondents thought civil servants have enjoyed incomes and benefit packages that are "far better" than those of other employees working in private-run companies and organizations.

Nearly 60 percent also thought it "irrational and unfair" that all civil servants, except those that were given a major demerit during the year are entitled to a year-end bonus of one-and-a-half months' salary.

Commenting on the poll results, DPP Legislator Chiu Yung-jen (邱永仁) said at a news conference that the government paid NT$886.6 billion (US$25.48 billion) last year for the salaries of the nation's civil servants, which include military personnel, teachers and employees in public offices.

The civil servants' salaries constituted 71.1 percent of all the government expenses last year, he said.

Chiu said if the civil servants are willing to have their monthly salaries cut by 10 percent, the government would save some NT$100 billion a year, which could in turn be used to finance other more vital projects.

The 1111 Job Bank conducted the poll via e-mail between Dec. 4 and Dec. 18 and received 3,303 valid responses.

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