Although the government has made efforts to stem a rise in consumer prices, as much as 60 percent of people still “feel strongly” about the price increases, a survey by the Consumers’ Foundation showed yesterday.
“It’s about time that the government seriously consider some real efforts to stop consumer prices from skyrocketing because our survey shows that as much as 60 percent of the public ‘feels strongly’ about rising prices,” Consumers’ Foundation chairwoman Joann Su (蘇錦霞) told a press conference in Taipei.
The foundation conducted a random poll of the main grocery shoppers of households across the country, asking them to fill out survey forms from the end of March to the middle of last month and collecting more than 1,200 valid samples.
GAS AND FOOD
Sixty percent — or 744 — of respondents said they felt strongly about the price increases, 30 percent — or 477 — said they noticed the price rises, but did not feel as strongly, while 13 percent said they had not noticed rising prices, the survey showed.
“We divided consumer products into 14 categories and asked respondents in which category did they feel prices had increased the most,” Consumers’ Foundation secretary-general Chen Chih-yi (陳智義) said. “Eighty-three percent answered ‘gasoline’ and ‘natural gas,’ followed by the price of instant noodles, with 77 percent. Milk and dairy products came third at 68 percent.”
“Traditionally, people think instant noodles are cheap, but it’s different now, as a pack of instant noodles could cost more than a lunch box,” he added.
Chen said aside from these top three categories, there were five other categories in which more than 50 percent of respondents believed prices had gone up too much: fruit, toilet paper, snacks, cooking oil and rice.
Official statistics released by the Directorate-General of Budget, Accounting, and Statistics showed that the consumer price index last month rose 0.79 percent from March.
“The prices of each category only went up a little bit, but it becomes quite a burden for the public when all [the price rises] are added up,” Su said.
Despite government efforts to slow down the growth in prices, 57 percent of the people surveyed were not satisfied with the efforts, with only 2 percent saying they were satisfied, Su said.
“At the moment, there’s only a small task force dealing with rising consumer prices. Maybe it’s about time to think about giving the task to a higher-level agency,” Su said.