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GEBRAK calls on workers throughout Indonesia to fight home savings program

CNN Indonesia - June 4, 2024

Jakarta – The Labour Movement with the People (GEBRAK) is asking that workers in their respective regions hold protests to reject the Public Housing Savings Program (Tapera).

The Tapera program, which came into effect through a government regulation signed by President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo on May 20, obliges the government to deduct 3 percent of all workers wages for the program.

"Calling on and inviting all of the people's movements, the movement alliances of the workers/student/farmers and others in their respective regions to immediately consolidate the fight against the Tapera policy that is not oriented towards the welfare of the people", read a GEBRAK statement on Tuesday June 4.

The labor alliance believes that the Tapera program has a different aim to what is hoped for by the workers and the ordinary Indonesian people. GEBRAK also recalled that there have been several incidents where programs collecting and managing public money have allegedly incurred corrupt practices.

They gave as examples the Civil Servants Pension Fund (Taspen), the Republic of Indonesia Armed Forces Insurance Company (Asabri) pension fund, the state-owned insurance company Jiwasraya, the state-owned enterprises pension fund (Dapen BUMN) and the Social Security Management Agency (BPJS) Employment program.

"These are an important lesson for us workers and the ordinary people, not just because there is corruption, but programs to collect or manage the people's money have instead being expropriated by the oligarchy", they continued.

GEBRAK is therefore urging President Widodo to revoke Government Regulation (PP) Number 21/2024 on Amendments to PP Number 25/2020 on the Implementation of Tapera.

This is because in the formulation of the draft regulation there was no involvement or discussions with the ordinary people or civil society who are impacted upon by the regulation, even though Indonesia is a democratic country.

"The GEBRAK Alliance is demanding that President Jokowi immediately revoke PP 21/2024, along with PP 25/2020 on the organisation of the public housing savings program", they said.

The GEBRAK Alliance is also demanding that the government halt the Tapera program and open up the broadest possible space for dialogue that is democratic, participatory, transparent and inclusive on a program for organising housing for the ordinary people.

Affordable housing, integrated public transport

In its call, GEBRAK said that instead of prioritising deductions from ordinary people's wages for the Tapera program, the government should provide public housing that is affordable, decent, modern and integrated with public transportation modes rather than for the benefit of the oligarchy and fake investment.

"Because the addition of the Tapera program will actually further deepen the suffering that is being felt because of the coercion being used and the amount of the contributions that must be paid", said GEBRAK.

Earlier, as stipulated under Government Regulation Number 21/2024, the government will deduct as much as 3 percent from workers' wages as their contribution to the Tapera program.

The government has given companies a time limit of no later than seven years from the date of the enactment of Government Regulation Number 25/2020 to register workers for the program.

Presidential Chief of Staff (KSP) Moeldoko has denied that the compulsory savings program is to fund a number of Widodo's projects or those of the president elect for the period 2024-2029, Defense Minister Prabowo Subianto.

He also emphasised that the Tapera levy was not related to financing Prabowo's free lunch program or the continuation of the construction of the new national capital city (IKN) Nusantara in East Kalimantan.

Moeldoko said that all government programs already have their individual budgets and emphasised that there would not be any appropriation of budgets from one program to another. (khr/kid)

[Translated by James Balowski. The original title of the article was "GEBRAK Serukan Buruh Seluruh Daerah Lawan Tapera Pemerintah".]

Source: https://www.cnnindonesia.com/nasional/20240604142921-20-1105703/gebrak-serukan-buruh-seluruh-daerah-lawan-tapera-pemerinta