Parties give positive comments on public sector pay raise plan

2017/09/12 23:25:16
Lee Yen-hsiu (李彥秀), deputy leader of opposition Kuomintang's (KMT) legislative caucus/CNA file photo

Lee Yen-hsiu (李彥秀), deputy leader of opposition Kuomintang's (KMT) legislative caucus/CNA file photo

Taipei, Sept. 12 (CNA) Political parties in Taiwan gave mostly positive comments Tuesday on the new Cabinet's plan to raise the pay for public sector employees next year.

Asked to comment on Premier Lai Ching-te's decision to give a 3-percent pay raise for civil servants, public school teachers and military personnel in 2018, Lee Yen-hsiu (李彥秀), deputy leader of opposition Kuomintang's (KMT) legislative caucus, said she supports a "reasonable pay raise" for public sector workers.

Hsu Yung-ming (徐永明), opposition New Power Party legislative caucus leader, said he had no problems with increasing the pay for "good performing" public servants as long as there are "objective" guidelines for doing so.

Liu Chao-hao (劉櫂豪), legislative caucus leader of the ruling Democratic Progressive Party, said the move can lead to other sectors raising pay for their employees to reflect the real growth of Taiwan's economy.

"I do not see any relationships between raising the pay for on-the-job government employees and cutting the retirement benefits for retired government workers," Liu said, referring to a government legislation that has provoked protests from retirees.

KMT's Lee noted that she also believes the government initiative will boost the chances of the business sector raising pay for their workers.

However, she said a minimal raise for current government workers may not be enough to comfort the feelings of hurt retirees from the same sector.

Chen Yi-chieh (陳怡潔), legislative caucus leader of another minor People First Party, praised Lai for doing the right thing soon after being sworn into the office.

"I believe the move will boost public functionaries' morale and give an impetus to the private sector hiking pay for their workers," she added.

Even retiree protest leader Lee Lai-hsi (李來希) gave kind words for the new premier's decision, saying Lai has felt the pain of government employees -- something he said Lai's predecessor Lin Chuan (林全) failed to do.

"It's been seven years since the government last raised pay for the men and women in public service while during the same time private sector workers have enjoyed a pay hike of more than 8 percent," Lee said.

(By Wu Hsi-yun and S.C. Chang)
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