Pay raise for public sector workers to be delayed due to lagging budget bill

A pay raise for public sector workers originally scheduled to take effect on Jan. 1, 2022 will be delayed because of the protracted legislative review of the central government's 2022 budget plan, Cabinet spokesperson Lo Ping-cheng (???) said Thursday.

The Cabinet approved a 4 percent wage hike for all public sector workers in late October on the back of a positive growth outlook for Taiwan's economy in 2021 and in response to increases in private sector salaries and the minimum wage.

The government had originally planned to roll out the pay raise for public sector employees at the beginning of next year along with other new policies.

At a Cabinet press briefing, Lo said this timeline had been disrupted by the ongoing review of the budget bill by different legislative committees.

All of the legislative caucuses agreed at inter-party negotiations last week to send the bill past the committee review stage by Thursday and through to a second reading in the Legislature for further deliberation.

Lo said the government would aim to implement its budget plan retrospectively after it is approved by the Legislature so that public employees would still receive a backdated pay raise for the first month of 2022 later in the year.

According to data from the Directorate-General of Personnel Administration, public sector employees last received a pay raise in 2018, when salaries were increased by 3 percent.

The planned 4 percent hike will be the highest percentage pay increase for public sector workers in 25 years since a 5 percent raise in 1996.

Shifting topics, Lo was asked to comment on the Changhua County government's application to upgrade the region to special municipality status.

In response, Lo said the county's application would be reviewed by the Ministry of the Interior (MIO) according to the Local Government Act.

The act stipulates that a region with a population of 1.25 million and above that has "special needs for political, economic, cultural, and metropolitan developments" can be reconstituted as a special municipality.

The region in central Taiwan, which has a population of 1,256,062 residents, already meets the minimum population required by the existing law.

However, Lo said that whether it qualified as having special development needs would be determined by the MOI, which would then submit its recommendations to the Cabinet for approval.

Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel