TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — A sweeping NT$210 billion (US$7.56 billion) pandemic relief package is set to be passed at a Cabinet meeting on June 3, with cash sent to qualifying individuals as early as the next day.
Premier Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌) said late Thursday (May 27) that occupations affected the most by COVID-19, including taxi and tour bus drivers and tour guides, will be eligible to apply for the latest round of relief. Self-employed individuals can benefit from the bailout too.
The government will increase living subsidies to middle- and lower-income families by NT$1,500 (US$54) per household for three months. The additional relief grant for families without any insurance coverage ranges between NT$10,000 and NT$30,000 (US$1,082).
In addition to needy individuals, companies severely affected by the pandemic can apply for employment wage subsidies of up to NT$20,000 (US$720) for each employee in May and June, according to the Cabinet's preliminary plan. Sectors named on the list include entertainment, recreation, tourism, exhibition, education, and food service.
Emergency loan programs of NT$100,000 (US$3,600) for laborers will remain in place. The government's total budget for the loan program is therefore to be expanded from NT$300 billion to NT$400 billion.
On Friday (May 28), Executive Yuan Spokesperson Lo Ping-cheng (羅秉成) said the Cabinet plans to expand the subsidy scheme to families with preschool and primary school children to ease the financial burden of child-rearing during the outbreak. Up to 2.5 million people will benefit from the child-rearing subsidy.
All schools have been closed since May 19 and have switched to distance learning due to the nationwide Level 3 alert. According to the draft plan, families with a preschool or primary school child can receive a one-time subsidy of NT$10,000 (US$360), NT$20,000 for two children of those ages, and so on. Families that have junior high or high school students with special needs are also entitled to the benefit.