Tue, Dec 25, 2012 - Page 3 News List

Legislators seek to scrap civil servants’ subsidies

EQUALITY AND JUSTICE:The legislators criticized the act granting subsidies to civil servants, saying all citizen should have access to the nation’s resources

By Jake Chung  /  Staff writer, with CNA

The Civil Servant and Teacher Insurance Act (公教人員保險法) should be amended to make civil servants and teachers pay their own health and civil insurance fees, Civil Service Vice Minister Wu Tsung-cheng (吳聰成) said yesterday.

The act requires local governments and private schools to pay National Health Insurance (NHI) and Civil Servant Insurance fees for civil servants who pay Civil Servant Insurance or private school teachers who have taken out insurance for at least 30 years in their employment.

In a recent review conducted by the legislature’s Judiciary and Organic Laws and Statutes Committee, the act was criticized by Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) legislators Chen Chi-mai (陳其邁), Kuan Bi-ling (管碧玲), Lee Chun-yi (李俊俋), Huang Wei-cher (黃偉哲) and Chiu Chih-wei (邱志偉).

All citizens should have an equal share of the nation’s resources and based on this principle, the clause should be terminated, the legislators said.

However, Wu said that an amendment to the Civil Servant and Teacher Insurance Act in 1999 had already imposed a “sunset provision” that stops governmental subsidies for civil servants and teachers who took out Civil Servant Insurance after May 31, 1999.

More than 40,000 people receive subsidies for their Civil Servant Insurance fees each year, but the number is steadily decreasing as people retire and drop out of the program, Wu said.

The government is paying NT$620 million (US$20.6 million) in subsidies for civil servants and teachers’ NHI fees, and another NT$520 million for Civil Servant Insurance fee subsidies, Wu said.

Give the passage of the sunset provision, the government should maintain the remaining subsidies for civil servants on the principle of legitimate expectations, Wu said, adding that the NHI subsidy could be abandoned.

Canceling NHI fee subsidies would take national resource allocation into considerations as well as an interpretation by the Council of Grand Justices that laws should be amended to account for new developments, Wu said.

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