Minimum wage to increase next year by up to 6%: Taiwan Media

People wear face masks to protect against the spread of the coronavirus after the COVID-19 alert raise to level 3 in Taipei, Taiwan, Thursday, July 8, 2021. (AP Photo/Chiang Ying-ying)

TAIPEI (The China Post) — Taiwan media speculated on Thursday on a possible increase in the minimum wage in 2022 by up to 6% in response to the country’s strong economic performance this year.

The news came in response to positive comments by both Minister of Economic Affairs Wang Mei-hua (王美花) and Labor Minister Hsu Ming-chun (許銘春) made a day earlier, one week ahead of the annual meeting of the Minimum Wage Review Committee slated on Oct. 8.

Speaking at the Legislative Yuan that day, Hsu said that government agencies have reached a “consensus on and have expectations of” such an increase to be decided by the committee.

National Development Council Minister Kung Ming-hsin (龔明鑫) also told local media that the minimum wage could increase a little bit more than 5% and even up to 6% which equates to the GDP growth expected this year.

Currently, the monthly minimum wage stands at NT$24,000 (US$860), while the hourly minimum wage is NT$160. If it increases by 6%, the monthly minimum wage could reach NT$25,440 per month, an increase of NT$1,440 over the present rate.

The alleged increase is poised to please workers in Taiwan who have been impacted by the COVID-19 outbreak earlier this year.

The president of the General Chamber of Commerce of the Republic of China, Hsu Shu-po (許舒博), on the contrary, said his organization opposes such an increase in the minimum wage.

“The service industries are still in need of relief,” Paul Hsu said. “If the government raises the minimum wage now, then it will have to take responsibility for any resultant layoffs, furloughs and increases in unemployment,” he said.