Minimum wage to increase again this year: Taiwan Labor Minister

President Tsai envisions eventual minimum monthly salaries of NT$30,000

Labor Minister Hsu Ming-chun

Labor Minister Hsu Ming-chun (By Central News Agency)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – Taiwan’s minimum wage will continue to rise despite unfavorable domestic and global economic conditions, promised the country’s labor minister Tuesday.

An evaluation committee is held every August in Taiwan to decide whether or not to raise the minimum wage, with adjustments taking effect the next year. The corporate world has voiced concern over slow growth this year and cautioned against a hike in minimum wage, reports UDN.

While acknowledging calls by the industry to refrain from pushing for a monthly pay rise, Labor Minister Hsu Ming-chun (許銘春) stated that an increase is to be expected, but the extent of the increase hinges on a number of factors. Discussions on the matter will proceed between representatives from the government, academia, industry bodies and labor unions, she added.

Since President Tsai Ing-wen assumed office in 2016, the government has overseen three consecutive years of minimum wage increases; up 5 percent each year on average. With the island gearing up for a presidential election in 2020, the raise would surely woo voters, UDN writes.

As of Jan. 1, the monthly minimum wage was increased from NT$22,000 to NT$23,100, while the hourly minimum wage was hiked from NT$140 to NT$150. Tsai has made clear she hopes the lowest monthly salary for laborers in Taiwan will some day reach NT$30,000.

Factors taken into account in last years’ discussions included price index for basic household goods, economic growth rates, and the labor productivity index.