President Ma Ying-jeou’s (馬英九) credibility and approval ratings have hit new lows and very few people give Ma credit for improving Taiwan’s sluggish economy, a public opinion poll showed yesterday.
The embattled president’s popularity continues to slide, with his approval rating hitting its lowest point, 15.2 percent, since he was inaugurated for his first term in May 2008.
Ma’s disapproval rating, 76.6 percent, was also the highest recorded during the same span, a survey conducted by Taiwan Indicator Research Survey (TIRS) on Wednesday and Thursday last week found.
The poll found that Ma’s credibility score, 21.7 percent, had likewise fallen to its lowest level since 2008, while 66.3 percent of respondents said they did not trust him.
Respondents also gave Premier Sean Chen (陳?) a miserable approval rating of 17.8 percent.
When asked who has worked hard to resolve the nation’s economic problems, only 4.4 percent of respondents picked Ma, which was less than the 4.7 percent who chose Cabinet ministers, the 12.2 percent that picked Sean Chen and the 14.4 percent who said Chinese Nationalist Party legislators had worked the hardest.
However, 33.5 percent of those polled said none of the aforementioned individuals have done enough to fix the economy, while 28.2 percent chose not to answer.
Another multiple choice question found that the general increase in retail prices bothered people the most, with 76 percent of those polled saying the price increases had constituted the heaviest financial burden.
Fuel and transportation costs came a close second at 70 percent, while water and electricity expenses ranked third at 58.9 percent, and premiums for labor and health insurance fourth at 58.3 percent.
The poll collected 1,012 valid samples and had a margin of error of 3.1 percentage points.