Premier Wu Den-yih (吳敦義) said yesterday that it was not the appropriate time to raise the pay of public servants in light of the huge national debt.
His comment came on the heels of a statement on Monday by Central Personnel Administration Minister Wu Tai-cheng (吳泰成) that the government would consider a pay raise or an increased bonus for civil servants in recognition of their contribution to Taiwan’s economic development.
However, the premier said that the Cabinet would consider a salary increase for public servants only if the country’s economy maintains strong growth for the first half of next year and there is sufficient tax revenue.
According to the Directorate General of Budget, Accounting and Statistics, Taiwan’s GDP will grow at a rate of 9.98 percent this year, the highest in 21 years.
Wu, however, said that most economic research institutes have forecast that Taiwan’s economic growth will slow down next year and the government will still be facing a budget deficit.
“It would be unjustifiable for the government to borrow money for the proposed pay raise,” he said.
The nation’s outstanding national debt will reach NT$4.9618 trillion (US$166 billion) by the end of next year — 37.79 percent of the country’s GDP, according to Minister of Finance Lee Sush-der (李述德).