Wed, Aug 23, 2006 - Page 3 News List

No pay raises planned for government workers

CNA , TAIPEI

Government employees, military personnel and public school teachers will not get a pay raise next year, a senior official said yesterday.

"It was a conclusion reached at a recent meeting of the government's pay-scale screening committee," said Chou Hung-hsien (周弘憲), head of the Central Personnel Administration.

According to Chou, the committee made the decision after reviewing a number of factors, including pay-scale adjustments in the private and public sectors, the financial condition of the government, as well as inflation and economic growth rates.

As inflation remains mild and salaries in the private sector have not increased substantially, Chou said the committee decided not to raise the pay of civil servants, military service members and public schoolteachers in the coming year.

Over the past six years, Chou said, the government has twice adjusted its pay-scale, implementing 3 percent salary hikes in 2001 and last year, respectively.

During the same period, he said, salaries in the private sector rose only 4.6 percent on average.

Meanwhile, Hsu Jan-yao (許璋瑤), head of the Directorate General of Budget, Accounting and Statistics, said that if the government were to raise its pay scale by another 3 percent next year, its financial burden would increase by NT$20 billion (US$610 million).

The Cabinet is scheduled to discuss next year's central government budget plan at its weekly meeting today.

According to Hsu, the government's expenditures next year are projected to rise to NT$1.66 trillion, marking an increase of nearly 6 percent from this year.

Hsu said that the additional budgetary funds would mainly be used to finance three big-ticket weaponry items.

After listening to a briefing on the government's budget plan early this month, President Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) said that next year's budget bill should be drafted in line with four principles: boosting domestic investment, creating job opportunities, bridging the gap between rural and urban areas, and promoting an equitable distribution of wealth.

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