Aid for businesses take precedent over minimum wage: Taiwan minister

Taiwan is deliberating on the minimum wage for 2022, even as some businesses continue to struggle financially because of the pandemic.
By: | September 3, 2021

While supporting the increase of minimum wage in 2022, Minister of Economic Affairs Wang Mei-hua has said this should be done after help has been given to businesses which rely on domestic consumption,

Due to the excellent performance of the manufacturing sector this year, the minister said it would be logical to raise the minimum wage. However, pandemic-hit businesses which relied on domestic consumers should receive special assistance. 

Labour minister Hsu Ming-chun earlier said she hoped the next increase would be higher than the previous one, especially since the government forecasts the economy will grow by 5.88% this year. Last year’s decision, which became effective on January 1, 2021, was to raise the minimum wage by 0.84% to NT$24,000 (US$866) and the hourly wage by 1.3% to NT$160 (US$5.77). 

However, employer groups have said since the services and other pandemic-affected sectors are still reeling from the impact of COVID-19, the minimum wage should not be raised. 

READ: Taiwan’s labour minister hopeful for larger minimum wage hike next year

Wang said the Ministry of Economic Affairs (MOEA) is currently analysing data and might present proposals of its own to the Minimum Wage Review Committee. Until now, the wage decisions had covered all workers in all sectors, and no group had ever formed an exception, she said. 

Every year, a review committee, formed by representatives of government, employers, unions and experts, meets to make a decision on the minimum wage, according to Taiwan News