It was announced at the Legislative Yuan during session today that the amendment for the “Provisional Statute for Welfare Allowance for Elderly Farmers” was passed in three readings to raise the allowance from NT$4000 to NT$5000 beginning on Jan.1, 2006. The COA Minister Lee Ching-Lung thanked the legislators for their support of elderly farmers.
In order to take care of elderly farmers and improve benefits for farmers as a whole, the government announced and implemented on May 31, 1995 the “Provisional Statute for Welfare Allowance for Elderly Farmers” to issue a monthly NT$3000 allowance to qualified elderly farmers over sixty-five years of age. On Dec.17, 2003 the statute was amended to raise the allowance to NT$4000, to be put in effect on Jan.1, 2004. Today the Legislative Yuan again lifted it to NT$5000 as a practical measure to show the country’s recognition of elderly farmers’ long-standing contributions to the country’s agricultural development, to provide for a portion of their living expenses, and to demonstrate the policy and determination of the government to establish socio-economic justice.
According to statistics from the COA, around seven hundred thousand elderly farmers received a monthly allowance in 2004 totaling NT$30,430,489,000. As of Nov. 2005, NT$229,197,930,000 had been issued since the policy was implemented in Jun. 1995. The rise from NT$4,000 to NT$5,000 according to legal procedures today is expected to benefit around 710,000 people in 2006. An augmentation of NT$8,600,000,000 will be needed. The COA has prepared a budget of NT$34,200,000,000 for the allowance in 2006. The annual funding needed after the amendment is around NT$42,800,000,000. The difference will be made up in future budget emendations.