Jakarta (ANTARA) - The government's latest public housing savings program (Tapera), necessitating employees and employers to contribute to a mandatory mortgage loan scheme, may boost workers’ homeownership though could "put a heavy burden" on them, a union stated.

"Tapera's mandatory fee would be an added burden on workers, as they have to pay other dues every month. If all is counted, it would take more than eight percent from their total monthly salary," President of the All-Indonesia Workers Union Confederation (KSPSI) Andi Gani Nena Wea noted in a statement, here, Saturday.

Wea, chairman of the workers union confederation in Southeast Asia's countries (ASEAN), noted that before the mandatory mortgage loan scheme, workers' salaries were deducted for a pension fund that took at least four percent from the total amount, the national healthcare and social security agency (BPJS Kesehatan), and Workers Social Security Agency (BPJS Ketenagakerjaan).

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In the meantime, the government necessitates employers and workers to contribute at least 3.5 percent of their monthly salaries to the mandatory mortgage loan scheme. The loan will be split into 2.5 percent to be paid by workers, while another one percent by the companies.

"Another deduction will be burdensome on us," he stressed.

Instead of imposing a mandatory mortgage loan scheme, Wea suggested it should be implemented voluntarily among workers.

"Tapera (the public housing program) should be optional. (The government) should not enforce it through the law," he remarked.
The labor union chief opined that the program should solely target those struggling to own a house. Hence, the loan scheme should not be enforced on those already holding properties.

This month, President Joko Widodo signed a regulation of the public housing savings that was applicable to civil servants and members of the police and military, followed by employees in state-owned enterprises and private sectors.

The public housing savings management body (BP Tapera) has targeted to collect at least 13 million members five years after the program was first implemented.

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Reporter: Ahmad Wijaya/Genta Tenri Mawan
Editor: Sri Haryati
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