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Taiwan minister of economic affairs supports raise in minimum wage

Manufacturing sector has seen outstanding performance, but services hard hit by COVID

A rise in the minimum wage is only logical, says the minister of economic affairs. 

A rise in the minimum wage is only logical, says the minister of economic affairs.  (CNA photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — As Taiwan prepares for the annual decision on the minimum wage, Minister of Economic Affairs Wang Mei-hua (王美花) said Wednesday (Sept. 1) there should be a raise, but not before special measures to help businesses reliant on domestic consumption are in place.

Each year, a review committee formed by representatives of government, employers, unions and experts meets to decide the fate of the minimum wage. Last year’s decision, which became effective on Jan. 1, 2021, was to hike the minimum wage by 0.84 percent to NT$24,000 (US$865) and the hourly wage by 1.3 percent to NT$160.

In a radio interview Wednesday, Wang said that due to the excellent performance of the manufacturing sector this year, it would be normal to see the minimum wage rise, CNA reported. However, businesses which relied on domestic consumers have been hard hit by the COVID-19 pandemic, so they should benefit from special assistance, the minister said.

Earlier, Labor Minister Hsu Ming-chun (許銘春) said she hoped the next increase would be higher than the previous one, especially since the government forecasts the economy will grow by 5.88% this year. Employers’ federations held the opposite view, mentioning services and other sectors still recovering from the impact of COVID.

Wang said the Ministry of Economic Affairs (MOEA) was analyzing data and might present proposals of its own to the Minimum Wage Review Committee. Until now, the wage decisions had covered all workers in all sectors, and no group had ever formed an exception, she said.

Updated : 2021-09-27 01:11 GMT+08:00