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Several new measures to take effect Jan. 1

Several new measures to take effect Jan. 1

Taipei, Dec. 30 (CNA) Several measures will take effect on Jan. 1, including new premium rates for national health and pension insurance, lower passport application fees, and a new fine for using hand-held digital devices while driving. The second-generation of Taiwan's national health insurance program will take effect Tuesday, with premium rates falling to 4.91 percent of one's basic salary, from 5.17 percent at present. Under the new scheme, the health insurance program will also collect a premium of 2 percent on extra income above NT$5,000 (US$172.20). The "supplemental" premium will apply to rental, interest and professional income, cash dividends, and high bonuses not counted as part of a person's regular salary. The premium rates for the national pension insurance fund will rise to 7.5 percent from the existing 7 percent. The higher rate will mean that those insured under the program will pay an extra NT$26 to NT$52 in premiums per month, but the government will also contribute an extra NT$34 to NT$86 per person per month. Meanwhile, the cost of getting an e-passport will be reduced from NT$1,600 to NT$1,300 for adults, and from NT$1,200 to NT$900 for children under 14 and military servicemen. As for new motor vehicle rules, motorists caught using hand-held digital devices while driving will face a fine of NT$3,000 and NT$1,000 for car drivers and motorcyclists, respectively. The new regulation applies not only to the use of cell phones, but also computers and other mobile devices used for sending text messages, e-mails, voice mails, and electronic documents and for social networking. The standard for drunk driving will also be tighter for new and commercial drivers. Most drivers will still be charged with drunk driving when their breath alcohol level is above 0.25 mg, but commercial drivers and motorists who have had their driver's license for under two years will be subject to a breath alcohol standard of 0.15 mg. Meanwhile, self-use vehicles, motorcycles and trailers will no longer be required to renew their vehicle permit every two to three years, also beginning from Tuesday. Approximately 6 million vehicle owners and 15 million motorcycle owners will benefit from the new regulation. (By Hanna Liu)


Updated : 2021-03-04 23:23 GMT+08:00