Wage raise or not? Premier to hear out big data report
Every summer, whether a pay raise for government employees will be approved by the Cabinet becomes a point of widespread speculation.
This year, Premier Mao Chikuo ( ) organized a technical group to assist Cabinet departments in utilizing “big data.” According to Cabinet spokesman Sun Lih-chyun ( ), Mao said that many have been talking about big data, however, few really know how to draw usable information from it. To improve policy-making with more accurate analysis, he ordered a group of technicians to assist officials in using the system properly.
According to Sun, on Wednesday the premier will be listening to the results of analyses conducted by committees which are involved in deciding whether a pay raise should be arranged this year. Those reports are based on statistics drawn from big data, which is a new approach adopted this year, in hopes of providing a precise and detailed look into wage volatility at private enterprises.
Sun added yesterday that the committee will be taking many factors into consideration, including economic growth and pay raises within the private sector, as well as the government’s budget. Around five million pieces of data will be presented to Mao today by the Ministry of Finance (MOF, ), according to Sun.
Asked whether a decision will be made after the hearing, Sun said that all will have to await the committee meeting in July; however, a general idea may be proposed.
No Reason Not To: Vice Premier
According to Vice Premier Chang San-cheng ( ), the report released by the MOF showed that salaries have risen in the private sector in the past three years, which has not been the case for the government sector. “Under such circumstances, it is very likely that government employees will receive a pay raise this year,” he said.
However, officials added that once a 3 percent pay raise is approved, the budget for 2016 will increase by around NT$22 billion, which will be a heavy burden for the Cabinet.
Chang also said that the Ma government had approved a pay raise for state workers in 2011, which was conducted in order to encourage private enterprises to follow. “The position has reversed now. Government employees will not receive a pay raise unless the private sector has done so,” he added.