A proposed amendment to increase the compensation paid to children of military personnel who have died in the line of duty has advanced to the Legislative Yuan for review.
Sponsored by Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Wang Ting-yu (王定宇) and others, the proposal would amend articles 13, 21 and 40 of the Indemnity Act for Military Personnel (軍人撫卹法) to increase the compensation that the underage children of soldiers receive.
While citing the importance of the Ministry of Education’s pledge to reduce or waive tuition fees for minors of soldiers killed in the line of duty, the draft amendment states that funds should also be allocated to help meet their daily needs.
Referencing the Police Personnel Management Act (警察人員人事條例) and the Act on Civil Servants’ Retirement or Layoff Payout (公務人員退休資遣撫卹法), the draft proposes increasing the payout to underage children by NT$12,000 per month until they reach adulthood or obtain a bachelor’s degree.
The amendment would be retroactive to apply to those already receiving indemnity payments.
Should the deceased soldier have more than one family member receiving indemnities, but who cannot make ends meet daily, the proposed amendment states that the payout should then be adjusted based on the Ministry of Health and Welfare’s report on the minimum cost of living.
All relatives of the deceased, except their underage children, should receive funds equal to minimal living fees, it said.
The proposed amendment would cost NT$950 million (US$33 million), which would come from the Ministry of National Defense budget.
The amendment was proposed after the July 4 death of a Marine Corps soldier while preparing for the annual Han Kuang military exercise, Wang said on Saturday.
Indemnity payouts for military personnel are based on their rank, which means little to low-level soldiers, he said, adding that soldiers’ underage children were not entitled to the same benefits as those of police officers, civil servants, educators and firefighters who die in the line of duty.
Members of the military should know that if anything happens to them on the front line, the nation is willing to care for their children, Wang said.
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