At Thursday's Cabinet meeting Premier Su Tseng-chang received a report from the Ministry of Health and Welfare on extending living allowances for low income and lower-middle income households to the end of 2023. The premier said that government tax revenues last year are forecast to provide a surplus of NT$450 billion (US$14.7 billion), of which NT$380 billion is to be allocated to the central government and will be employed in three main directions. First, NT$100 billion will be used to meet shortfalls in Labor Insurance and National Health Insurance funds, and to increase electricity price subsidies. Second, an additional NT$100 billion will fund a new plan designed to reinforce the nation's economic resilience. Third, NT$40 billion of the remaining NT$180 billion will be set aside as a contingency budget with the remaining NT140 billion used to provide every person with a one-off cash payment of NT$6,000.
The premier explained that last year's tax revenue surplus is largely a result of Taiwan's outstanding economic growth last year. Thanks to the concerted efforts of his administrative team, industry groups and citizens from all walks of life, Taiwan has achieved spectacular economic performance for the past two years, resulting in higher-than-expected tax revenues. This surplus revenue will also be used to upgrade infrastructure and promote various other measures to improve public welfare; the government continues to fulfill its promise to share the fruits of economic growth with the people through raising wages, cutting taxes and increasing benefits.
From March to December of 2022, the Executive Yuan issued additional monthly living allowances of NT$750 per person to low income households and NT$500 per person to lower-middle income households. Premier Su has approved a further budget allocation of NT$4.5 billion to extend these allowances for an additional year. He hopes the payments will reach people's pockets in time for the Lunar New Year and continue uninterrupted each month after that, so that the 600,000 members of Taiwan's disadvantaged populations can feel the government's concern for them as they cheerily celebrate the holidays.