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.
Taiwan might be China’s next target after it has “walled off” Hong Kong from the rest of the world with its new national security legislation, Academia Sinica Institute of Sociology fellow Wu Jieh-min (吳介民) said on Thursday. At a seminar organized by the Economic Democracy Union, the Taiwan Association for Human Rights, the Hong Kong Outlanders and the Judicial Reform Foundation, Wu said that the legislation is simultaneously a fig leaf concealing Beijing’s autocratic rule in Hong Kong and a figurative “Berlin Wall,” denying democratic countries access to Hong Kong. Wu said it is evident that Taiwan would be China’s next target. The
YOUNGEST PATIENT: Cases of botulism have been only sporadically reported over the past few years, with two in 2015, six in 2016 and none in the past three years The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) yesterday reported the nation’s first case of infant botulism this year, a four-month-old boy in northern Taiwan, as well as five new cases of Japanese encephalitis confirmed last week. The boy was introduced to homemade solid food in the middle of last month, but began to experience constipation and loss of appetite on June 23, CDC Epidemic Intelligence Center Deputy Director Guo Hung-wei (郭宏偉) said, adding that he was taken to the hospital when he developed a fever and shortness of breath on June 25. In the hospital, the boy also experienced a rapid heartbeat, limb
The National Taiwan Museum’s Railway Department Park in Taipei is to open to the public today. The park in Datong District (大同) near the North Gate (北門, Beimen) is one of the museum’s four branches. During the Japanese colonial era, the site housed the railway department of the Office of the Governor-General of Taiwan’s Bureau of Transportation. After World War II, it served as the headquarters for the Taiwan Railways Administration (TRA) for several decades. In 2007, it was listed as a national monument under the Cultural Heritage Preservation Act (文化資產保存法). At an opening ceremony yesterday, Minister of Transportation and Communications Lin Chia-lung
CHALLENGER DEEP: Lin Ying-Tsong was invited by Caladan Oceanic founder Victor Vescovo to join him on a 10-hour long trip in the company’s submersible Taiwanese-American Lin Ying-Tsong (林穎聰) last month became the first person from Asia and the 12th in human history to dive into the deepest part on Earth, the Challenger Deep in the Mariana Trench. Lin, 45, an expert in deep sea acoustics with the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) in Massachusetts, joined US adventurer and Caladan Oceanic founder Victor Vescovo, 54, on June 22 in a descent to the central pool of the Challenger Deep, the deepest point of the trench, which lies at a depth of more than 10,900m. The pair made the descent in a submersible named Limiting Factor, a US$37