The legislature’s Economics Committee yesterday froze Council for Economic Planning and Development (CEPD) year-end bonuses for the minister and deputy ministers for next year, linking them to the council’s GDP growth target of 3.8 percent for next year.
The council has budgeted a total of NT$1.05 million (US$34,360) for the annual bonuses that CEPD Minister Yiin Chii-ming (尹啟銘) and deputy ministers Hwang Wang-hsiang (黃萬翔), Wu Ming-chi (吳明機) and Chen Hsiao-hung (陳小紅) could receive next year.
Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) legislators yesterday proposed to cut CEPD minister and deputy ministers’ bonuses by half next year, and said that the ministers were not entitled to the other half unless the country’s GDP grows by more than three percent for two consecutive quarters or the unemployment rate falls to less than four percent for two consecutive months.
DPP Legislator Chen Ming-wen (陳明文) said the proposal was initiated in accordance with the Executive Yuan’s minimum wage policies enacted on Sept. 26, that beginning next year hourly wage rates will be increased to NT$109 from NT$103, but monthly wage increases will depend on GDP growth or improved employment conditions.
“We cannot accept the conditions set for minimum monthly wage adjustments, because they show the government’s unwillingness to increase workers’ salaries and reduce their misery,” Chen said.
Yiin said he accepted the committee’s decisions, but with one condition — all of his proposals aimed at helping the economy recover faster would have to be passed if the committee insisted on freezing his annual bonus.
Yiin even partly attributed the slow economic recovery to legislators not supporting all of the CEPD’s proposals.
In response, DPP legislators Su Chen-ching (蘇震清) and Gao Gyh-peng (高志鵬) said that Yiin had failed to fulfil his promises many times, such as saying the stock market would climb to the 20,000 point mark after the government implemented all of its economic policies and that the country’s economic growth would not fall below four percent by the end of the year.
“The minister should stop making jokes and setting unachievable economic growth targets, including the projected GDP growth of 3.8 percent,” Su said.
Yiin said the CEPD set the 3.8 percent growth target, which is considered too high compared with the Directorate-General of Budget, Accounting and Statistics’ forecast of 3.15 percent, in order to encourage all agencies to make the greatest efforts to reach the target growth, which he himself believes is achievable.