EY leaves pension reforms, FEPZ for Tsai

By Stephanie Chao, The China Post

TAIPEI, Taiwan–The Executive Yuan laid out a list of policies and projects to tackle or to handover to the incoming government on Wednesday, specifically addressing foreign talent hiring reforms and the trade in goods pact with the mainland.

Twenty-four controversial policies proposed by the 10 ministries were on the agenda for discussion and were greenlighted during the first policy meeting, Cabinet spokesman Sun Lih-chyun stated in a post-meeting conference.

The Executive Yuan plans to leave the implementation of four of the policies for the Democratic Progressive Party- (DPP) led government to handle.

Problematic policies included the “Act Governing the Allocation of Government Revenues and Expenditures” (財政收支劃分法修法), plans to move the Taoyuan railway stretch underground, pension reforms, and revisions to Taiwan’s Free Economic Pilot Zones (FEPZ) project.

“Many of the opinions made toward the amendment bills regarding the government revenues and expenditures act had been suggested by the DPP,” Sun said.

As for moving the Taoyuan section underground, the spokesman stated that the construction process would require another approximately NT$700 billion in funds.

Pension reforms, while both the current and incoming governments unanimously agreed that an overhaul is required, saw a stark division of opinions on how to carry the changes out, Sun said.

In response to the recent suspension of plans to relax regulations governing the hiring of foreign white-collar workers, which went through revisions by the Ministry of Labor (MOL) last year, Sun stated that due to the wave of criticism from all fronts, the government will continue to carry out discussions before future implementation.

The New Power Party (NPP) blasted the MOL’s decision last week, demanding that it recall its executive order, and stated that it was a policy geared to helping financial groups lower legal labor costs. Industries had also expressed opinions, Sun said.

However, he denied that the revisions would be halted, arguing that, “Opinions should be collected from all sides. Even if the current government will not be able to complete the process, at least the incoming government will not need to start from scratch.”