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Labor Party, Unions urge govt to scrap Tapera, set to stage protest

Tempo - May 30, 2024

Defara Dhanya Paramitha, Jakarta – The Labor Party and the Confederation of Indonesian Trade Unions (KSPI) planned to stage a demonstration in response to President Joko Widodo or Jokowi's decision to mandate all workers, both civil servants and private employees, to participate in the Public Housing Savings or Tapera program.

The program is stipulated in the Government Regulation (PP) No. 21 of 2024, an amendment to PP No. 25/2020, signed by the President on Monday, May 20.

"We will hold an immediate action while closely monitoring the government's stance on canceling PP No. 21/2024 on Tapera," Said Iqbal, the President of the Labor Party and President of KSPI, told Tempo on Thursday, May 30.

He further stated that they would give the government approximately two weeks to revoke the regulation. "It is possible that a rally could be held sooner, within this week," he added.

According to him, the Tapera program which entails deductions from workers' wages is inappropriate as as it imposes a burden on workers and the people. Moreover, it remains unclear whether workers will automatically acquire housing upon enrolling in the program.

"Using common sense and based on mathematical calculations, the 3 percent [of a worker's salary, which is paid by employers at 0.5 percent and by workers at 2.5 percent] will not be sufficient for workers to purchase a house upon retirement or when they are laid off," he stressed.

Said mentioned that workers' real wages have diminished by 30 percent, having remained stagnant for nearly three consecutive years, with the most recent hike being negligible.

"If it's cut by 3 percent for Tapera, the burden on workers will undoubtedly be even heavier, especially since the deduction for workers is five times higher than employers," he added.

Said believed that the Tapera program appears to be primarily aimed at amassing public funds, especially from workers, civil servants, Indonesian Military and Police (TNI/Polri) personnel, and the general public. "Don't let new corruption become rampant in Tapera as happened in ASABRI and TASPEN," he said, referring to corruption cases in state insurers.

Consequently, the Labor Party and KSPI demanded the government revise the law on Tapera and its government regulations. "The implementation of the Tapera program should be deferred. It needs thorough scrutiny and monitoring to prevent corruption until it is prepared for implementation without imposing a burden on workers, civil servants, TNI, Polri, and Tapera participants," Said Iqbal concluded.

Source: https://en.tempo.co/read/1874036/labor-party-unions-urge-govt-to-scrap-tapera-set-to-stage-protes