Shih Ming-teh urges wage hike in ‘Robin hood’ policy
Independent presidential candidate Shih Ming-teh ( ) says that the minimum wage level in Taiwan should be increased and that he hopes to protect the rights and interests of all people in Taiwan as a left wing candidate through his “Robin Hood Policy.”
He spoke at a press conference yesterday in Taipei.
"Taiwan is stuck in the argument of unification and independence, and also stuck in the colors of political parties,” which affects people’s right to choose a government supporting their own plight, Shih said.
He accused the Kuomintang ( KMT), Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) and People First Party (PFP) of all being right wing parties that neglect the working class due to their connections with businesses and capitalists. He stated that only by adjusting the minimum wage level can a more just society be created. Shih urged that current minimum wage levels be increased to NT$27,199 a month (approximately US$846).
National Taiwan University Economics Professor Kenneth Lin ( ) explained that the minimum wage should be based on the average of minimum living expenses per person (NT$12,363) times the employment- based dependency ratio (2.2), which is much higher than the current level (NT$20,008). “It is right for laborers to live with dignity and to have a decent standard of living,” Lin also said that raising the minimum wage level to NT$27,199 is “one of the most minimal and expansive fiscal policies.”
The Ministry of Labor held a meeting on raising minimum wage levels on Wednesday, where negotiations broke down. The struggling economy and likely pressure from industrial leaders were cited as factors.
However, Lin stated that “economic growth is not directly related to wage growth,” and pointed out that through an increase in wages for workers, consumer spending can perk up the economy. Shih added that the reason why authorities refuse to raise wage levels to NT$27,199 is not only for fear of offending corporations, but also “the discrimination toward the working class,” which Shih stated is not acceptable.
As a former chairman of the DPP, Shih intends to run for president in 2016 as an independent candidate. He stressed that while most advanced countries implement left and right wing politics, all of the political parties in Taiwan are mostly right wing. He vowed to steer his campaign theme to upholding social justice and solving problems regarding the unequal distribution of resources.
Independent presidential candidate Shih Ming-teh ( ) speaks at a press conference in Taipei, yesterday. Shih said that the minimum wage level in Taiwan should be increased.