Government targets 900,000 relief payments by week end: premier

Premier Su Tseng-chang.

TAIPEI (CNA) — About 900,000 people around Taiwan will have received relief payments from the government by the end of the week, Premier Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌) said Wednesday.

They include 710,000 low and middle-income households and underprivileged people, who will have a monthly subsidy of NT$1,500 (US$49.88) remitted directly to their accounts and have already received payments for April, Su said at a press event on the execution of the government’s relief and revitalization plans amid the coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic.

In addition, 58,000 of 100,000 taxi and tourist coach drivers around the nation eligible for a monthly wage subsidy of NT$10,000 received payments this week, according to Su.

These payments will be issued for three months to those whose livelihoods have been hardest hit by the pandemic, which had resulted in more than 171,000 fatalities worldwide as of Wednesday.

Moreover, 10 percent of the 1 million self-employed workers who have joined the Labor Insurance Fund and have an insured monthly salary under NT$24,000, will receive a single one-time payment of NT$30,000 by the end of the week, Su said.

As for employers of pandemic-stricken businesses who are eligible for a government wage subsidy that makes up 40 percent of their monthly wage, Su said 37,000 will start receiving payments this week, for a total of three months.

The premier described the payments as “pre-deployments” for relief and revitalization work, and emphasized that the relief payments target those most in need, not the entire population.

Meanwhile, the Legislature passed an amendment bill the previous day to expand funding for bailout measures to maximum NT$420 billion.

The Cabinet will approve the allocation of an additional budget at its regular meeting on Thursday, Su revealed.