TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — The leader of one of Taiwan’s top business groups, Lin Po-feng (林伯豐), voiced opposition to a rise in the minimum wage Wednesday (Sept. 8), calling for special aid for companies hit by the COVID-19 pandemic instead.
The Minimum Wage Review Committee is expected to meet later this month to decide whether the monthly minimum salary of NT$24,000 (US$865) and the hourly wage of NT$160 should be raised on the first day of next year.
While government officials have spoken in favor of such a move without specifying its size, Lin said there should be no rise this year as too many companies have suffered under the pandemic, CNA reported. He especially emphasized businesses dependent on domestic consumption, as the sector was hit by either closures or weak business during restrictions on travel and indoor dining.
He advocated tax cuts to help businesses in trouble and subsidies to be spent on training, salaries, and assistance to employees on unpaid leave. According to Lin, the subject of a hike in the minimum wage should wait until after the pandemic subsides.
The businessman chairs Taiwan’s Chinese National Association of Industry and Commerce (CNAIC), one of the country’s top business alliances. The committee that decides the minimum wage includes representatives of employers, labor, and government as well as experts.