Tue, Jan 25, 2005 - Page 1 News List

Government will increase officials' pay about 3 percent

By Ko Shu-ling  /  STAFF REPORTER

Teachers, civil servants and members of the military will receive an average 3 percent pay hike in their monthly salaries this year -- the first such increase in three years.

Following the legislature's approval of this year's budget last week, the Executive Yuan's Central Personnel Administration announced yesterday that the pay increase will be applied retroactively to Jan. 1.

Central Personnel Administration Director-General Lee Yi-yang (李逸洋) said the pay rise will cost the government an estimated NT$18 billion a year. The legislature has thus far approved NT$16.71 billion (US$525 million) in funding for the pay raise.

Although the government is in financial difficulties, Lee said that the government's plight should not be the sole factor taken into account regarding pay increases. Lee said that the GDP growth rate for last year is projected to reach 5.93 percent, while GDP per capita is estimated at US$13,651 -- a 7.28 percent increase from the previous year's US$12,725.

Meanwhile, last year's consumer price index (CPI) is forecast to rise by 0.83 percent. The CPI from January to July last year saw a 1.2 percent increase.

Another reason for the pay rise, Lee said, was that the salaries of civil servants have not yet been adjusted since 2002.

"Most developed countries -- such as the US, France, Germany and South Korea -- have increased the salaries of their civil servants since 2002," he said.

According to Lee, US civil servants received a 3.6 percent pay rise in 2002, 4.1 percent in 2003 and 2.7 percent last year. Civil servants in Germany got a 2.2 percent raise in 2002, 2.4 percent in 2003 and 2 percent last year. Civil servants in South Korea received an 8 percent salary hike in 2002, 5.5 percent in 2003 and 3.2 percent last year.

In Taiwan, high-ranking administrative officials earn 15 percent less per month than their private-sector counterparts on average, while mid-ranking government officials earn 25 percent less.

Low-ranking officials, however, earn more than their private sector counterparts on average.

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