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Gov't to thoroughly revise Labor Insurance Act: premier

By Ann Yu--Premier Sean Chen announced that the government would bear full responsibility for the Labor Insurance Fund, at a legislative interpellation session, yesterday. Later, President Ma Ying-jeou stated that although the Executive Yuan has officially released a statement that the Labor Insurance Fund would not fail in the next five years, the government is obliged to make early preparations.

Amid reports that the Labor Insurance Fund would go bankrupt in 20 years, panic has flared among workers, angering legislators who blame the Cabinet for the possible failure.

At an interpellation session yesterday, Legislator Tsai Chin-lung (蔡錦隆) asked the premier if the government would include a clause to the amendments of the Labor Insurance Act to proclaim the government's responsibility over the funds, indicating that it would subsidize the labor fund on a yearly basis.

The premier answered, “yes,” stating, “There will be a thorough revision of the Labor Insurance Act that will better complete the whole legal system.” He also explained that the legal procedures of the Labor Insurance Fund, the national pensions and the civil servant insurance funds are all different. “We can't guarantee they will offer identical benefits, but we are working in the direction of closing the differences,” he said.

At a Kuomintang Central Standing Committee meeting, party whip Lin Hung-chih (林鴻池) suggested that the premier should take time to understand the labor fund's conditions and hold discussions with unions to reach an understanding. Ma agreed, stating that now is a time to take in suggestions from each group and figure a resolution for the funds.

Minister of the Council of Labor Affairs Pan Shih-wei (潘世偉) had repeatedly promised that the council would protect worker's rights, giving assurances that the fund would not go bankrupt.

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