Thu, Aug 02, 2007 - Page 4 News List

Taipei City loses in insurance lawsuits

By Yang Kuo-wen and Lin Shu-hui  /  STAFF REPORTERS

The Taipei High Administrative Court yesterday ruled against the Taipei City Government in 25 cases related to its health and labor insurance subsidies for people working in the city, leaving the city government owing at least NT$14.1 billion (US$427 million) to the Bureau of National Health Insurance.

Although the city government can appeal the cases, a court judge who wished to remain anonymous, said that court officials had during a joint meeting on May 23 reached a consensus that local governments should be required to fund government health and labor insurance subsidies for people commuting to work in their area.

Given the wide consensus, the courts are unlikely to reverse yesterday's verdict in an appeal, the judge said.

The Taipei City Government previously argued that it should only be required to fund subsidies for Taipei residents. It said it was concerned about the impact that paying for workers commuting to Taipei from other areas could have on its expenses and ability to care for its residents.

The court, however, said it was reasonable for local governments to cover part of the insurance fees for employees commuting to their area and for dependents because local governments levy taxes from the employees' companies.

Taipei City Department of Labor Affairs Director Su Ying-kuei (蘇盈貴) last night said the city government would appeal all of the rulings.

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