NPP Calls for Minimum Wage Rise

NPP Calls for Minimum Wage Rise
The Taiwan Labor Front called two hundred volunteers lined up as "26k" in front of the Legislative Yuan on April 29

Compiled and translated by Shin-wei Chang

The New Power Party has announced a proposal to boost the monthly minimum wage from NT$20,008 to $26,867 (approximately US$620 to $832). In addition, the party wants a fine up to NT$1 million (approximately US$30,000) for employers violating the regulation.

New Power Party legislator Huang Kuo-chang says the minimum wage has remained very low for the past ten years. Despite the Consumer Price Index (CPI) lifting each year, Taiwanese workers do not have enough income to afford their daily expenses.

The New Power Party and the Taiwan Labor Front held a demonstration on April 29, calling for the law to be changed. Taiwan Labor Front says, according to the International Labour Office, the minimum wage should at least meet the costs workers face in raising a family. According to its equation, the minimum wage should be the minimum cost of living multiplied by the dependency ratio – this is the rate of dependents out of 100 working-age people. To meet that standard, the current minimum wage, which is NT$120 (approximately US$3.7), would need to lift 35% to  NT$163 (approximately US$5) per hour.

Huang said many European countries, like the UK and France, all have regulations that require the regular adjustment of their minimum wage. However, Taiwan has no Minimum Wage Act, leading to a wage that has barely increased in the past ten years.

According to Directorate-General of Budget, Accounting and Statistics, the average real wage in 2015 was NT$46,782 (approximately US$1450), less than what it was in 2000.

Edited by Edward White

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