Premier Lai Faces Criticism over Public Employee Pay Raise

William Lai
Photo by w:en:Presidential Office Building, Taiwan via Wikimedia Commons

Following the appointment of Premier William Lai (賴清德), the Executive Yuan proposed a 3% pay raise for public sector employees next year, Liberty Times reported. While scholars reportedly praised the move as they believe it will spur the economy, others were not satisfied.

Lee Lai-hsi (李來希), head of the National Civil Servants Association, said that the proposed pay raise is insufficient. Lee said that the government should take the lead in raising wages in Taiwan, especially after the Ministry of Labor raised the minimum wage by 4.5% to NT$22,000 (US$732) per month or NT$140 per hour. He added that if the government wants to increase consumer consumption, it must increase wages further to promote spending.

Public sector employees have seen wages frozen for almost seven years, making this the first pay raise since 2011. The pay raise also comes after the government’s struggle to reform pensions, which was met by numerous protests that have continued.

On his second day in Office, Premier Lai witnessed two labor rights protests outside the Executive Yuan. The protests were to improve rights of migrants workers and against changes in working hours based on business owners’ interests.

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