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New measures to be launched Jan. 1

New measures to be launched Jan. 1

Taipei, Dec. 30 (CNA) Taiwan will kick off several new measures Jan. 1 to improve benefits for children, women, the elderly and disadvantaged groups, expedite immigration clearance for Taiwanese citizens, cut costs on foreign worker hiring and various other issues. The Council of Labor Affairs, for example, will provide adults aged 18-29 who are new graduates or have been unemployed for six consecutive months with a NT$120,000 (US$3,966) subsidy for education or training programs. Subsidies for workers suffering occupational injuries will also be raised by 17 percent, while eight major social welfare subsidies under the National Pension Act, such as pensions for the elderly, the physically and mentally disabled, will be raised by 16.7 percent to 33.3 percent once every four years. In addition, a gender equality department will be set up under the Cabinet to promote women's rights and gender equality, as part of government efforts to achieve gender equality. Other new measures are as follows: Labor hiring website A website will be launched to allow Taiwanese employers to hire foreign workers directly online. This will help employers and foreign workers save on broker fees.
NT$10 stock limit removed The NT$10 limit on the par value of shares in Taiwan will be dropped for foreign companies seeking a primary listing on the local bourse.
Taiwan-UK working holiday program The Taiwan-United Kingdom working holiday agreement will take effect, under which 1,000 adults aged 18-30 from the two countries are allowed to travel, work and live in each other's country.
Minimum wage The monthly minimum wage will be raised by 5.03 percent to NT$18,780, while the minimum hourly wage will rise from NT$98 to NT$103.
Airport e-gates An e-gate system will be introduced at Taiwan's three main airports -- in Taoyuan County, Taipei and Kaohsiung -- to expedite immigration clearance for Taiwanese citizens. The unmanned gates will verify the biometric data of passengers passing through.
Farmer pension hike Monthly pensions for elderly farmers will be raised from NT$6,000 to NT$7,000. A clause that disqualifies wealthy farmers from the pension program will take effect in 2013. Babysitting subsidy Families in an income tax rate bracket below 20 percent can apply for a monthly NT$3,000 babysitting subsidy or NT$5,000 for disadvantaged families. The subsidies were previously offered only to families with an annual income of under NT$1.5 million. Child subsidy A NT$2,500-NT$5,000 monthly subsidy will be introduced for parents with children under age 2 that are in an income tax rate bracket below 20 percent and in which one parent chooses to stay home and raise their children. Parents of 150,000 infants and children are expected to benefit.
Paid family leave All employees in the private sector will be able to request paid leave for up to seven days per year to take care of children under the age of 12 in circumstances such a typhoon threat that closes schools but not offices. Currently, only employees from companies with more than five employees can request such leave.
Pregnancy hotline The government will launch a hotline to offer services and counseling for pregnant women and new mothers.
Integrated child care system The previous separate systems of kindergarten and child daycare centers will be integrated into a single system that will be supervised by the Ministry of Education, which will take charge of care services and education for preschool children aged 2-6.
Mandatory treatment for sex offenders Offenders who committed sexual assault crimes before June 30, 2006 will be required to receive mandatory treatment, according to amendments to the Sexual Assault Crime Prevention Act.
Energy-efficient appliance subsidies For the first three months of 2012, the government will subsidize NT$2,000 for each purchase of energy-efficient household appliances such as air conditioners, refrigerators and washing machines.
Lower rate for long-distance calls Rates for long-distance calls will be reduced to NT$1.6 from NT$5.7 for every three minutes.
Lower broadband fees Chunghwa Telecom Co. will offer a 20 percent discount on charges for its broadband services.
Reduced plastic packaging A new Environmental Protection Administration regulation will require hypermarkets and supermarkets to reduce their use of plastic packaging by 40 percent.
Streamlined government structure Under a government restructuring program, the existing 37 ministries, councils, committees and commissions under the Executive Yuan will be reduced to 29.
(By Elaine Hou and Christie Chen)


Updated : 2020-11-30 20:20 GMT+08:00