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DPP urges CLA to lower laborers' relief loan interest

DPP urges CLA to lower laborers' relief loan interest

Taipei, Dec. 29 (CNA) Opposition Democratic Progressive Party legislators proposed Monday that the interest rate on relief loans to laborers be brought down to no more than 1.92 percent to help mitigate the burden on laborers in the face of the economic slump.
The legislators noted that the relief loans are aimed at helping workers ride out the difficult times that are seeing them suffer unpaid leave and cutbacks in personnel. However, the interest rate on these loans is 2.935 percent -- higher than the interest rate for house purchase loans for civil servants, which is only 1.92 percent.
They proposed at a committee meeting in the Legislative Yuan that the interest rate on laborers relief loans must not exceed 1.92 percent, or that the government should give them an allowance.
The proposal was approved by the committee.
"For workers in financial difficulty, the relief loan is like providing charcoal during snowy weather, while civil servants' home purchase loans are a perk of the job, " said Lai Ching-te, a DPP legislator, describing the interest rate on workers' relief loans as "unfair and unreasonable." In response, Council of Labor Affairs (CLA) Minister Wang Ju-hsuan said the council will review the regulations and cut interest rates within a month.
The CLA announced earlier this month that it will raise the total budget for laborers' relief loans from NT$10 billion (US$303 million) to NT$20 billion.
According to the regulations, every worker in economic difficulty who has participated in the labor insurance system for at least 15 years without overdue bills can apply for a loan of NT$100,000 at an interest rate of 2.935 percent.
To alleviate the pressure on workers from the high unemployment rate and cutbacks in personnel, the CLA launched a series of projects this year to attempt to stabilize the employment market.
But the unemployment rate is still increasing, reaching 4.64 percent in November, or 507,000 jobless people, according to the latest figures compiled by the Directorate-General of Budget, Accounting and Statistics.
(By Emmanuelle Tzeng)




Updated : 2021-04-11 09:06 GMT+08:00