Finance minister signals support of civil servant pay rise

The China Post news staff

The China Post news staff–With Taiwan’s tax revenue posed for a year-on-year growth in the first quarter, the Ministry of Finance will give “positive” feedback concerning a proposed civil servant pay raise if consulted by the premier, the ministry’s head told lawmakers yesterday. At the Legislative Yuan’s Finance Committee hearing, lawmakers Lu Shiow-yen (盧秀燕) and Alex Fai (費鴻泰) of the ruling Kuomintang quizzed Minister of Finance Lee Sush-der (李述德) on the remarks of Premier Wu Den-yih earlier that the government might consider salary increases for civil servants if the report of Taiwan’s Q1 tax revenue later in April indicates a stabilized and obvious trend of economic recovery.

While the first quarter figures will not be clear until mid-April, data showing substantial increases in tax revenues in January and February mean Taiwan should see a tax revenue increase in the first quarter compared to the same period of the last few years, Lee said.

Lee refrained from directly addressing Lu’s question on the MOF’s opinion of the premier’s proposal, only saying that tax revenue, as part of the government’s income managed by the MOF, has seen “positive development” compared to 2010. When Lu pressed further and asked if the MOF will report positively on a pay raise plan if questioned by the premier, Lee said that the MOF’s answer would be positive. A three percent pay raise to the nation’s civil servants would translate to NT$22 billion in addition expenses, Lu calculated.