Social welfare allowance up NT$10 bil. last year
By Jenny Wang, Special to The China PostTAIPEI, Taiwan -- To prevent the gap between the rich and the poor from widening, the government increased the social welfare allowance last year, spending more than NT$10 billion, the Directorate-General of Budget, Accounting and Statistics (DGBAS, 主計處) said yesterday.
August 16, 2013, 12:02 am TWN
The DGBAS is going to announce the Family Income and Expenditure Survey (FIES) of 2012 today. The income inequality indices in the FIES mean the multiple of disposable income per household between the highest 20-percent family and the lowest 20-percent family. The income inequality index per household was 6.17 in 2011, showing that it has been reducing for two years in a row, and demonstrates that income inequality is not deteriorating continuously, according to the DGBAS.
The widening gap between the rich and the poor has become global tendency regardless the economic growth in each country, stated the DGBAS. However, society holds a rather negative perspective toward the enlargement of the gap between the rich and the poor, said the DGBAS. The government has increased social welfare allowance actively in recent years to help the low-income groups in the M-shaped society, according to the DGBAS.
The economic growth rate last year was 1.32 percent, lower than the 4.07 percent in 2011, the DGBAS said. Nevertheless, the Ministry of the Interior (內政部) raised the quota of the social welfare allowance last year; including living assistance for the disabled, living allowance for mid- or low-income senior citizens, children and youth in difficulty, national pensions, indigenous people payment, child living support for low-income families and student living assistance for low-income families. Each person is eligible for NT$358 to NT$1,923 more than their original monthly subsidies; the number of beneficiaries is up to 2.25 million people, the DGBAS said. It could probably mitigate the damage toward mid- or low-income citizens due to local economic sluggishness, according to the DGBAS.