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Commercial Times: Pay hikes for civil servants

Commercial Times: Pay hikes for civil servants

After listening to a report on the status of salary increases for private-sector workers in recent years, Premier Mao Chi-kuo directed a Cabinet committee to meet in July to discuss issues concerning raising pay for civil servants.
According to a survey by the Directorate General of Budget, Accounting and Statistics, over the past three years, only 9.8 percent, 11.9 percent and 15.8 percent of companies have raised pay for their workers, respectively. Only 20 to 30 percent of employees have obtained pay increases, with as high as 70 percent of employees not getting any adjustment.
Under these circumstances, it is disputable whether now is an appropriate time for the Cabinet to raise the pay of civil servants. Besides the 7 million private sector employees, there are 1.3 million self-employed people whose income has remained stagnant. From 1993 to 2000, the median disposable income of self-employed people increased from NT$376,000 to NT$427,000, but in 2013, their median disposable income had dropped to NT$420,000.
Instead of paying attention to the welfare of 1 million civil servants, the government should be more concerned about the situation of 10 million private-sector workers.
There are at least four reasons why the Cabinet should not discuss pay hikes for civil servants now.
First, the starting salary of the government sector is already higher than the private sector.
Second, the pay of all age groups in the government sector is also better than the private sector.
Third, the retirement pensions of the government sector are far better than the private sector.
Fourth, the government's financial woes are getting worse.
All these factors show that there should be no rush to raise the pay of civil servants. (Editorial abstract -- June 26, 2015) (By Y.F. Low)


Updated : 2021-09-20 23:35 GMT+08:00