Premier discusses minimum wage adjustment as food prices rise
Taiwan News, Staff Writer
2014-08-15 08:26 PM

Premier Jiang Yi-huah stated Friday, food prices have increased 3% and has begun to affect the livelihoods of disadvantaged laborers. He will soon ask the Ministry of Labor to convene the basic wage committee to discuss adjustment of the minimum wage.

Jiang welcomed representatives from ten major labor groups Friday afternoon.

In a basic wage committee meeting held in Q3 2013, an accompanying resolution was passed stating that the committee would only take up the matter of adjusting wages if the annual growth rate of the consumer price index (CPI) reached 3%.

Jiang stated that this resolution did not solve any problems. Taiwan is a country with stable price controls. In the last few years, the annual growth rate of CPI rarely exceeded 3%. Recently growth rates have been between 1.8% and 2.5%. It may be next year or the year after at the earliest before CPI growth reaches 3% and the minimum wage can be discussed. And that concerned labor groups.

He continued, another problem is that the price index covers a wide range and may not be the best indicator reflecting the livelihoods of low-level workers. If the ubiquitous food price index is isolated, its increase has already surpassed 3%. Food prices rose 3.8% in the first seven months of the year and 4.27% in July. The disadvantaged feel this most acutely.

Jiang remarks, from the prospective of low-level workers, the principle of discussing the minimum wage only when CPI growth has reached 3% may need to be reconsidered. He has already discussed with the Ministry of Labor convening the basis wage committee as soon as possible to reconsider and deliberate whether to adjust the minimum wage.

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