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Over 80% feel incomes insufficient to cover expenses: poll

Over 80% feel incomes insufficient to cover expenses: poll

Taipei, April 30 (CNA) A poll released one day before Labor Day found that people in Taiwan have concerns over the country's labor environment, with 82.8 percent saying that incomes are generally not high enough to cover living expenses. Only 15.9 percent of respondents said incomes were adequate, and 1.3 percent said they did not know or had no opinion, according to the poll, conducted by market research and polling company Taiwan Trend Research Co. Respondents in the 40-59 age bracket had the strongest sense that general income levels in Taiwan were inadequate, with 86 percent saying salaries were not high enough to meet daily expenses, the poll found. Even 65 percent of military personnel, civil servants and teachers -- who are generally considered to have the most stable incomes -- feel living expenses are exceeding people's financial means. In addition, 48.2 percent of all respondents worried that they would lose their jobs or be laid off over the next year, the poll showed. Over half of the respondents in the 40-59 age bracket, the most of any age group, were worried about the possibility of losing their job, as were 58 percent of blue-collar respondents. Meanwhile, over half of all respondents felt that salaried workers in Taiwan spent too much time on the job, with 69 percent among 20-29 year-old respondents feeling that way, the most of any age group. The poll also found that nearly two-thirds of respondents agreed that the government should take the lead in banning the use of temporary workers. "Overall, Taiwan's people gave the country's labor conditions an average score of 54.6 out of 100, showing that the public thinks there is still room for improvement," said Sam Peng, director of the research company. The poll, conducted between April 9 and 20, collected 1,071 effective samples from respondents over 20 years old. It had a confidence level of 95 percent and a margin of error of plus or minus 3 percentage points. Lee Chien-hung, an associate professor of labor relations at Chinese Culture University, said the poll showed that "many workers are painstakingly toiling away at their jobs." Though it's understandable that some manufacturers need to hire contract workers to rush orders, Lee said, it is harder to understand why some famous domestic brands regularly hire temporary workers when they should be able to forecast and control shipments of their orders. "It is a result of a lack of corporate social responsibility," said Lee, who cited smartphone maker HTC Corp. as one of those using temporary workers unnecessarily. He also expressed concern over the hiring of contract workers by government agencies, saying that they may not receive compensation if they suffer work-related injuries because all government budgets need to be prepared in advance. Son Yu-lian, secretary-general of the Taiwan Labor Front, described the poll results as "sounding a big warning" and said he hoped that the government would take steps to improve the labor environment in Taiwan. (By Christie Chen)


Updated : 2020-12-03 19:42 GMT+08:00