Tue, Apr 13, 2010 - Page 1 News List

Ma rejects ECFA job-loss claim

IGNORING LABOR As the president met labor representatives, one complained that he avoided workers since being elected. Reporters were asked to leave as he talked

By Ko Shu-ling  /  STAFF REPORTER

“It was easy to see you before the [presidential] election, but it is so hard since you were elected,” he said. “Your talk just now simply wasted much of our precious time.”

The man said that he had hoped Ma could do something for workers after taking office, but Ma should listen to them more if he really meant what he said.

While he was venting his grievances, reporters were asked to leave. The DPP reacted angrily to the government’s claims that the party has exaggerated the potential negative effects of the trade pact.

“The government needs to check its facts,” said Liu Chien-sin (劉建忻), an official at the DPP’s policy research committee and a drafter of the report.

Ma

“The original report we released said that 3.2 million service industry jobs would be ‘affected’ by an ECFA, not that they would lose their jobs,” Liu said.

Meanwhile, a survey by the Research, Development and Evaluation Commission (RDEC) showed that 68 percent of respondents supported President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) attending a series of hearings nationwide to explain an ECFA.

RDEC Deputy Minister Sung Yu-hsieh (宋餘俠) said the survey did not include any questions regarding the public’s opinions on an ECFA itself, adding that the Mainland Affairs Council and Ministry of Economic Affairs, the two agencies in charge of the subject, would conduct such polls.

The survey, released yesterday, was conducted on March 8 and March 9.

The latest survey on an ECFA conducted by the commission, the agency in charge of gauging public opinion on major policies, was in March last year. It showed 48 percent of respondents considered an ECFA beneficial to Taiwan’s future while 26.3 percent disagreed. About one quarter did not express an opinion.

Premier Wu Den-yih (吳敦義) has set the goal of 60 percent public support as a requirement to sign an ECFA.

ADDITIONAL REPORTING BY VINCENT Y. CHAO AND SHIH HSIU-CHUAN

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