Stipends to be granted to servicemen to at­tract more en­lis­tees, says Cabi­net

The China Post - - LOCAL -

The Ex­ec­u­tive Yuan has ap­proved the Min­istry of Na­tional De­fense’s pro­posal to grant ac­tive- duty stipends and stipends for sol­diers who de­cide to ex­tend their time in the mil­i­tary, in an ef­fort to at­tract more civil­ians to en­list as the coun­try shifts to an all- vol­un­teer force.

The new stipends took ef­fect on Wed­nes­day, the min­istry said in a state­ment.

From now on, of­fi­cers and sol­diers in the mil­i­tary’s com­bat units will be given a stipend of NT$ 5,000 ( US$ 160) per month, while those serv­ing in com­bat-sup­port units will re­ceive NT$3,000 as a monthly stipend, the min­istry said.

Mean­while, stipends will be given to vol­un­teer sol­diers who de­cide to stay on, in­stead of be­ing dis­charged, af­ter fin­ish­ing their terms of four-year ser­vice.

As an in­cen­tive to en­cour­age them to stay in the mil­i­tary, those who de­cide to stay for one more year will re­ceive NT$17,000, the min­istry said. Those who ex­tend up to two years and three years will be given NT$ 33,000 and NT$50,000, re­spec­tively, it added.

The min­istry said it will mon­i­tor the ef­fec­tive­ness of the new ini­tia­tives and make ad­just­ments if nec­es­sary.

Be­fore the new stipends were in­tro­duced, the gov­ern­ment last year in­creased its monthly duty al­lowances for vol­un­teer sol­diers and non-com­mis­sioned of­fi­cers by be­tween NT$2,000 (US$66.60) and NT$ 4,000 to give young peo­ple more fi­nan­cial in­cen­tives to pur­sue a mil­i­tary ca­reer.

Other in­cen­tives in­clude of­fer­ing op­por­tu­ni­ties for fur­ther study while serv­ing, and im­prov­ing crea­ture com­forts such as al­low­ing smart­phone use on se­lected mil­i­tary bases, ac­cord­ing to the min­istry.

Tai­wan plans to com­plete the shift by 2017. It had orig­i­nally aimed at the end of 2015, but pushed the date back due to lower-than-ex­pected re­cruit­ment num­bers.

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