Mon, Dec 31, 2012 - Page 1 News List

New government measures to come into effect tomorrow

By Shelley Shan  /  Staff reporter

Several government measures are slated to take effect tomorrow, covering rules governing labor insurance, health insurance and traffic safety.

The labor insurance rate will rise from 8.5 percent to 9 percent, which will affect an estimated 9 million workers. A person with an average monthly salary of NT$29,000, for example, will see monthly premiums increase by NT$29, while their employer’s co-payments will increase by NT$101.5 per employee.

Approximately 600,000 government workers will be affected by the new civil servant insurance rate, which will rise to 8.25 percent. On average, each will be asked to contribute NT$135 more in monthly premiums.

The second generation of health insurance will also take effect, with the health insurance rate reduced from 5.17 percent to 4.91 percent for most people.

A controversial capital gains tax on securities trading will also come into effect. From next year to 2014, investors will pay a transaction tax of between 0.2 and 0.6 percent on stock trades when the market’s benchmark weighted index reaches 8,500 points or higher.

Meanwhile, the national pension rate will rise from 7 percent to 7.5 percent, with contributors paying NT$26 to NT$52 more per month. Subsidized payments from the government will rise by NT$34 to NT$86 per month.

The Ministry of Finance has announced that individuals carrying more than one box of cigarettes, 25 cigars, one pound (0.45kg) of tobacco, or one liter of alcohol when returning from overseas will be fined, with excess items being confiscated.

Those carrying more than the stated duty-free amount and failing to report this at customs will be fined NT$500 per box of cigarettes, NT$300 per pound of tobacco, NT$4,000 for every 25 cigars and NT$2,000 per liter of alcohol.

People using smartphones or tablet computers while operating a vehicle without a hands-free kit will also be subject to fines starting tomorrow. Based on the amended Act Governing Punishments for Violations of Road Traffic Regulations (道路交通管理處罰條例), car drivers will be fined NT$3,000 while motorcyclists will have to pay NT$1,000.

The maximum blood alcohol level for drivers without a license, those with a license issued less than two years ago and professional drivers will be reduced from 0.25mg to 0.15mg. The maximum penalty for drunk driving will rise from NT$60,000 to NT$90,000.

Meanwhile, travelers planning to apply for new passports will only need to pay NT$1,300 instead of NT$1,600.

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