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September 21, 2017

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All insurance policies need review: CLA head

Council of Labor Affairs (CLA) Minister Pan Shih-wei (潘世偉) yesterday said that the labor insurance policy should be reviewed along with civil servant and citizen insurance policies to avoid unfairly targeting laborers in any policy shake-up.

According to Pan, the Cabinet shares this opinion.

Pan also said that this Thursday he will try to push the Cabinet to include a clause in the amendment draft stipulating that the government will subsidize labor insurance. He said the premier will make an announcement today.

As for whether the government will be responsible for fixing the labor insurance deficit, Pan said that there is not yet a consensus on this matter.

As for the premium rate, Pan reiterated that the 13-percent premium rate ceiling is likely to be adjusted. He said the average premium rate for OECD countries is approximately 18 to 19 percent.

'No drastic revisions'

Asked what elements of labor insurance the government will likely revise, Pan replied that no drastic changes concerning labor insurance will be made.

Democratic Progressive Party Legislator Chao Tien-lin (趙天麟) said that certain labor insurance revisions suggested by local media, such as extending the eligible age for collecting payments and reducing payments, have worried workers. Chao stated that, compared with the civil servant insurance scheme, workers will be less protected by their insurance if these suggested changes are implemented.

The minister replied that the government will revise labor insurance based on two principles — revisions must be acceptable for most laborers and all insurance policies should grant equal protection for the insured.

Workers to Take to the Street

Union members announced yesterday that they will launch a demonstration on Sunday to protest several labor issues, including a policy which eases restrictions for hiring foreign laborers, a delay in minimum monthly wage hikes, a new system for hiring employees, the circumvention of laws that protect labor rights, and the government's unwillingness to back up the labor insurance program.

At the press conference, four laborers staged a show to mock the government's policies. The actors wore masks with the faces of the president, the premier, Minister without Portfolio Kuan Chung-ming (管中閔) and Council for Economic Planning and Development Minister Yiin Chii-ming (尹啟銘).

As part of the show, they drank fake poison to stop their thirst, in an action meant to symbolize that the government is implementing policies which will hurt Taiwan while creating more flattering economic statistics for the government.

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