Poverty line to be raised in some places next year

Staff writer, with CNA

Fri, Oct 04, 2013 - Page 4

The Ministry of Health and Welfare announced on Wednesday that the poverty line in parts of the nation will be raised next year, which means that a larger number of households with low monthly incomes will be eligible for public assistance.

The poverty line for low-income households — excluding Kinmen and Lienchiang counties and the five special municipalities — will be raised from NT$10,244 to NT$10,869, the ministry said.

For medium-low income households, the poverty line will be moved up from NT$15,366 to NT$16,304, the ministry said.

In Kinmen and Lienchiang counties, the poverty line for low-income families will be adjusted from NT$8,798 to NT$9,769 and for medium-low income families from NT$13,197 to NT$14,654, the ministry said.

Among the nation’s five special municipalities, Greater Taichung will raise its poverty line from NT$11,066 to NT$11,860, while New Taipei City (新北市) and Greater Tainan are yet to submit their proposals to the ministry, officials said.

Taipei and Greater Kaohsiung have decided not to raise their poverty lines, ministry officials told reporters.

The five municipalities account for 60 percent of the country’s population of 23 million. As of the end of June, the number of low-income and medium-low income households in Taiwan stood at 242,275, representing 656,223 people, ministry figures showed.

The number is expected to increase to about 700,000 next year, ministry officials said. This means that more low-income households will be eligible for government assistance to meet living costs such as school fees and national health insurance premiums.