Alexa
  • Directory of Taiwan

DPP head rapped for putting forth 'teflon pension reform' platform

DPP head rapped for putting forth 'teflon pension reform' platform

Taipei, July 9 (CNA) A leading social democrat on Thursday criticized Democratic Progressive Party chairwoman and presidential candidate Tsai Ing-wen for shying away from seriously reforming Taiwan's pension system that is vastly in favor of public sector employees. As the presidential candidate of the main opposition party - and "the most likely" national leader next year - Tsai Ing-wen (???) should not have just put forth a pension reform proposal that does not tackle the issue head-on, said Fan Yun (??), convener of the Social Democratic Party (SDP). Fan also commented on Tsai's view of the Greek financial crisis, a crisis that has alarmed Taiwanese people because their government is also in heavy debt. Fan has said that Greek debts have not been caused by the country's pension system but rather, in large part, by the country's failure to raise taxes on big conglomerates. Fan urged Tsai to "boldly" propose tax increases for big corporations to improve the social safety network for this generation and social justice for the next. While both the ruling Kuomintang (KMT) and the DPP have put forth their respective proposals for reforming Taiwan's pension system, the two parties have not made real efforts to push them forward, Fan pointed out. Tsai, as a serious contender for Taiwan's presidency, should show her political courage to push for pension reform, but instead she has adopted delay tactics by declaring that her administrative team next year will "study feasible ways of reforming the pension system" when it regains power. Tsai said her feasible ways would include forming a "national pension reform committee" and convening "national affairs conferences on the pension system." Fan challenged Tsai to answer why she is hiding behind what she calls "society's consensus" that will not be forged until after the national committee has been formed and the national conferences have been held. "For us social democrats, we have candidly proposed doing away with the current pension system based on professions and building a brand new one in which there would not be any differentiation between the jobs from which citizens retire," Fan said. "Our proposal would narrow the gap of pension incomes between the public sector employees and the private sector employees -- a measure that would solve the problems of 'class' inequality as well as generational burdens," Fan said. During a DPP Executive Committee meeting a day earlier, Tsai said Taiwan should learn from Greece and not leave its debts to future generations. Taiwan's central and local governments are cumulatively NT$6.5 trillion (US$209 billion) in debt, with a hidden debt reaching NT$18 trillion, she said. On her ideas of reforming the pension system, Tsai said the reform should proceed "in a gradual manner" -- first by simplifying the payment rules, then seeking to delay the time for pensioners to receive their first pension payment, and finally by "rationalizing" income substitution rates, which are most unfavorable to the working people covered by the labor insurance program. (By Sofia Yeh and S.C. Chang)


Updated : 2021-09-21 04:06 GMT+08:00