An estimated 900,000 people in Taiwan will receive government handouts by the end of this week to help alleviate financial worries brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Speaking yesterday, Taiwan’s Premier Su Tseng-chang indicated this would be broken down into 710,000 lower income households receiving NT $1,500, as well as 58,000 of Taiwan’s taxi and long distance bus drivers reliant on tourism receiving salary subsidies of NT$ 10,000 each.
In a similar form to the British government of Boris Johnson covering a portion of a pandemic-affected company’s wage bills under its now famous ‘furlough‘ system, the government will also cover payments of up to 40% of monthly wage bills for 37,000 of those hit by the pandemic starting this week.
All of these payments will be issued for a period of three months while another 100,000 people falling under the title of ‘self-employed’ with a monthly salary lower than NT $24,000 will each receive one off payments of NT $30,000 by the end of this week according to Premier Su.
A cabinet level meeting later today will see the approval of an additional budget for 2020 to cover the outlay.
The payments are being described as helping those considered most in need while the pandemic plays out, as opposed to being available to the wider population of Taiwan.
Life in Taiwan continues largely unaffected by the virus for most people, although in recent weeks the government has encouraged social distancing measures and reinforced its mask supplies while instructing a limited number of businesses to close down.