TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Taiwan's Cabinet on Thursday (June 24) announced a new stimulus package that includes up to NT$40,000 in subsidies for foreign cram school teachers with permanent residency in Taiwan who have lost work due to the pandemic.
At a press conference on Thursday, the Cabinet announced its "Stimulus 4.0" (紓困4.0) package to provide relief to residents who have been affected by the recent outbreak and Level 3 restrictions. The NT$4.2 billion package includes a number of measures, including debt deferrals, low-interest loans, COVID-19 death compensation, and subsidies for workers who have lost their jobs.
It also said that 27,000 foreigners who have permanent resident status in Taiwan and have been affected by the economic slowdown brought on by the outbreak will be eligible for the same benefits as Taiwanese, and the application process for these benefits and subsidies is also the same as for Taiwanese. A National Development Council (NDC) representative who spoke to Taiwan News said that a number of government ministries are discussing ways to provide aid to foreign permanent residents who have been negatively impacted by the pandemic.
For teachers at cram schools and after-school care centers, the Ministry of Education (MOE) is offering a one-time payment of NT$30,000 (US$1,000) from a pool of NT$800 million to compensate for lost salary and NT$10,000 for living expenses. Only schools that have lost at least a 50 percent of their monthly revenue from May to July compared to March and April or to May to July 2019 are eligible to apply for these subsidies on their employees' behalf.
The NDC representative stressed that foreign teachers should make sure their employers apply for this subsidy because only through their employers can they receive the full NT$40,000. Only foreigners who have obtained permanent residence in Taiwan currenly qualify for these subsidies.
According to government statistics, there are 2,593 cram schools and 199 tutor centers in Taipei alone.
With Level 3 restrictions already extended to July 12, if classes are suspended for the rest of summer vacation, up to 30 percent of cram schools and tutoring centers nationwide could shut down for good by September. If this happens, up to half of the employees at these schools could lose their jobs.