Sun, Dec 03, 2017 - Page 3 News List

Cabinet urges swift civil servant raises

GREEN LIGHT?The Legislative Yuan has avoided negotiations over the proposed salary hike reportedly out of concern that the KMT caucus would boycott them

By Lee Hsin-fang  /  Staff reporter

The Executive Yuan yesterday called on the Legislative Yuan to swiftly approve a budget plan for a 3 percent pay raise for government employees, public-school teachers and military personnel, adding that delays in passing the proposal would affect about 1 million people.

The Cabinet in September announced that public-sector employees and those working in state-run businesses are to receive a pay raise next year after a freeze of more than six years, adding that it hopes the plan would stimulate a similar move in the private sector to boost the economy.

Senior Executive Yuan officials, who declined to be named, yesterday called on the legislature to swiftly pass the third reading of the proposal so that the executive branch can implement the salary increase on Jan. 1 as scheduled.

Despite the legislative session’s close being scheduled for the end of this month, the legislature has avoided scheduling negotiations over the proposed salary hike, reportedly out of concern that the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) caucus would boycott the negotiations.

The officials expressed concern that the salary increase might be delayed until February after the ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) caucus passes a motion to hold an extraordinary session next month.

While the number of active military personnel is confidential, delays in approving the proposal is estimated to affect about 1 million people, including 580,000 public-school teachers and 300,000 veterans.

The salary increase would require NT$24 billion (US$799.25 million), with the Executive Yuan and local governments contributing NT$18 billion and NT$6 billion respectively.

The Executive Yuan has earmarked NT$3.8 billion from the NT$18 billion budget to subsidize 14 local governments that are short of capital so that they can afford to pay the salary increase.

No subsidies have been planned for the more affluent six special municipalities, Hsinchu City or Kinmen County.

Since the salary hike is considered as one-time spending, it has been listed as a new project, meaning that no funds related to the salary increase should be drawn before a budget request is passed by lawmakers.

A source familiar with the issue said that despite a potential delay in passing the proposal, civil servants, public-school teachers and soldiers are to receive their proposed monthly salaries on time.

No funds should be drawn before the legislature approves the proposed salary hike, Directorate-General of Budget, Accounting and Statistics Minister Chu Tzer-ming (朱澤民) said, while expressing the hope that lawmakers will soon approve the budget proposal.

Even though civil servants, teachers and soldiers might have to wait until February for the raise, they are to be reimbursed the salary increase due to them in January after the budget passes, Chu said.

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