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2011-10-18
New System of Public Assistance Implemented on July 1, Government Subsidizes Low- and Middle-income Citizens 1/2 Health Insurance Premium

New System of Public Assistance Implemented on July 1, Government Subsidizes Low- and Middle-income Citizens 1/2 Health Insurance PremiumMinister of the Interior Yi-Huah Jiang held a press conference on June 30 to announce that the new system of public assistance will be implemented starting on July 1. In order to implement concretely this important policy, the central government and local governments have begun related preparations since the revised Public Assistance Act was passed by the Legislative Yuan. After the revised Act was promulgated on December 29, 2010, the Ministry of the Interior has for half a year successively made related preparations, including inviting local governments to discuss the formulation of relevant sub-laws, updating examination information system, and sponsoring 13 educational trainings and workshops for more than 1,400 examiners, hoping the new system of public assistance can be implemented smoothly through thorough preparations in advance and sufficient funding.

Minister Jiang noted that when the new system is implemented, preliminary estimates show that low-income households will increase from 112,000 (with 273,000 members) to 133,000 (with 327,000 members) and there will be 183,000 newly added middle-to-low-income households (with 536,000 members). The government will take care of a total of 316,000 low-income and middle-to-low-income households (with 863,000 members), with the coverage rate increasing from 1.18% to 3.7% of the total population.

The focal points of the revised Public Assistance Act include raising the poverty line for more people to get assistance, relaxing the scope of calculating the number of members living in the household and listing household-owned fixed assets, lowering the criteria for determining who is not capable of employment, relaxing the method of calculating specific subjects’ income from work, strengthening welfare incentives for employment; adding new welfare measures such as subsidizing 50% of health insurance premium for middle-to-low-income households and reducing 30% of tuition and student living fees for members of middle-to-low-income households under the age of 25 studying in high school or higher level educational institutions. Relevant competent authorities have to provide supplementary budgets totaling NT$4,834,679,000 for promote the various measures.

Minister Jiang said the Ministry has since June 13 publicized related information about the new system of public assistance through multiple channels for the public to know, including using electronic subtitles shown by the Government Information Office at 75 locations in Taiwan, putting up posters on Taiwan Railways train cars, and TV mini-segment and radio broadcasting. Propaganda materials have been sent to city and county governments and township, village and district offices, and the Ministry of the Interior has sent a circular asking township, village and district offices to distribute relevant materials to local residents through village and borough offices for more people to get the message.

In addition to using advocacy channels of the administrative branch, the Ministry of the Interior will also send the propaganda materials to all members of the Legislative Yuan soon, hoping more people will get the information about the new system of public assistance through their representatives. If people do not understand certain measures under the new system of public assistance, please call the city or county government, or village or district office of domicile, or call 1957, the Ministry of the Interior toll-free welfare hotline, for inquiry.


 
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Ministry of the Interior. Republic of China(Taiwan)
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