TAIPEI - Amid a broad economic slowdown, the Cabinet has decided that soldiers, civil servants and public school teachers will not receive a raise in 2016, a decision that has been approved by the president.
The Directorate General of Budget, Accounting and Statistics slashed the 2015 GDP forecast to mere 1.56 per cent last Friday to reflect the gloomy economic outlook.
Against this backdrop, the government has ruled not to hike the minimum wage. The Cabinet later had discussions over public servants' wage, and determined that there are not sufficient reasons to raise it.
President Ma Ying-jeou was informed of the decision when the Cabinet presented next year's general budget.
Considering the recent change in economic conditions, the Cabinet did not allocate funds for the wage increase, and the president support the decision, according to a local source.
Cabinet spokesman Sun Lih-chyun confirmed yesterday that a salary increase was not included in the general budget the last time the Cabinet held a meeting to discuss the subject.
A Cabinet committee is schedule to hold a meeting Aug. 20 to deliberate on the new budget, Sun said, adding that the decision will be finalized then.
Vice Premier Chang San-cheng concurred that the Cabinet will pass the general budget on Thursday and that "there is no budget allocated for a wage increase."
A Series of Measures to Boost the Economy
The president reportedly gave the order to ramp up government expenditure in an attempt to boost the economy. Annual expenditure will grow 3.1 per cent to NT$2 trillion (S$88 million) next year.
The government plans to expand public infrastructure and to promote the nation's technological development.
The budgets allocated for each of these purposes are set to grow 13 per cent and 4.7 per cent, respectively. The amount for the latter will exceed NT$100 billion for the first time.
As the nation logged an unusually low growth in the second quarter, the Cabinet will also launch its economy-stimulating programme "Productivity 4.0" ahead of schedule.
The Executive Yuan will tap the "national development fund" to set up a task force that aims to facilitate public and private sectors' collaboration to realise higher productivity and industrial transformation.
Considering climate change, President Ma requested additional budget allocations for next-generation agricultural development and agricultural assistance due to natural disasters.
Given that the housing market plays a pivotal role in Taiwan's economy, the Central Bank recently relaxed controls on housing credits, hoping it will revitalise the real estate market.