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September 21, 2017

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Industry expresses reluctance on wage hikes

TAIPEI, Taiwan -- In response to Taipei Mayor Hau Lung-bin's comment calling Taiwan's suppressed employee compensation the "shame of the nation," and calls to raise the minimum wage, several industry and commerce associations yesterday urged the government to produce effective economic stimulus policies before placing the burdens of pay raises on enterprises.

Tsai Lien-sheng (蔡練生), secretary-general of the Chinese National Federation of Industries (CNFI, 全國工業總會) stated in an interview yesterday that the government should not resort to demagoguery with the election season fast approaching. Instead of its unfounded call upon enterprises, the government should produce more favorable economic growth conditions to enable businesses to afford better wages for employees, said Tsai.

"In addition to Taiwan's long suppressed wages, the stagnating economic growth is also the shame of the nation" said Tsai, adding that if the Taipei City Government has the budget to fund the planned increase of the minimum wage to NT$20,000, the CNFI will gladly applaud the endeavor.

Meanwhile, newly elected General Chamber of Commerce, R.O.C. (ROCCOC, 全國商業總會) Chairman Lai Chang-yi, (賴正鎰) yesterday stated enterprises already anticipate additional burdens from the Cabinet's proposed fiscal reforms, which include plans to increase the business tax, and are not equipped to consider raising the minimum wage. According to Lai, the minimum wage is in no way a meaningful figure to base Taiwan's ability to retain vital talent, while remarking that the greatest challenge for the nation lies in attracting investments. As the government has not produced any promising plans for revitalizing the economy, he remains opposed to calls to raise the minimum wage, said Lai.

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