The Ministry of Health and Welfare announced Saturday that the minimum cost of living in six cities and counties of Taiwan will be raised next year, meaning that more low-income and lower-middle income households will be eligible for government subsidies.
The six cities and countries are Taipei, New Taipei, Taoyuan, Taichung and the offshore Kinmen and Lienchiang counties.
Among Taiwan's six major municipalities, the poverty line for low-income households in Taipei will be raised by the largest amount from NT$16,580 (US$554) to NT$17,005, the ministry said.
For lower-middle income households, the poverty line in Taipei will be moved up to NT$24,293, the ministry said.
In New Taipei, the poverty line for low-income families will be adjusted from NT$14,666 to NT$15,500, while in Taoyuan, it will be raised from NT$14,578 to NT$15,281 and in Taichung, it will be moved up from NT$13,813 to NT$14,596.
Tainan and Kaohsiung, meanwhile, have decided not to raise their poverty lines, according to the ministry.
Kinmen and Lienchiang counties will raise the poverty line for low-income families from NT$11,135 to NT$11,648.
In Taiwan, the poverty line is currently defined as 60 percent of the average national monthly expenditure over the previous year, with some restrictions relating to ownership of personal assets and real estate. The poverty line can be adjusted at any time when changes in the cost of living reach 5 percent, according to a ministry official.
As of the end of June, the number of low-income and lower-middle income households in Taiwan stood at 252,263, representing 621,130 people, ministry figures show.