A majority of Taiwanese are dissatisfied with President Ma Ying-jeou’s (馬英九) administration, which could affect his re-election chances next year, a poll conducted by the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) has found.
Released on the eve of Ma’s third anniversary in office, the survey points to increasing concern over Taiwan’s international status, rising income disparities and stagnant wages, the DPP said.
The survey was conducted from Monday to Wednesday.
By contrast, the Research, Development and Evaluation Committee has said that its statistics showed 90 percent of Ma’s campaign promises had either been met or were close to completion.
The economy also grew at its fastest pace in 23 years last year, reaching 10.47 percent GDP growth year-on-year.
However, the DPP said its survey showed that the impressive economic growth has not been uniformly distributed.
Close to four in five of those surveyed said that their everyday burdens had increased, compared to one in 10 who felt otherwise.
“How can Ma continue to maintain that he has brought the next generation happiness when confronted with such an alarming increase in our wealth disparity?” DPP spokesperson Chen Chi-mai (陳其邁) said.
“Ma’s administration has taken Taiwan on the wrong road,” he said, adding that 72.9 percent of respondents to the DPP survey believed Taiwan’s income disparities have become “more serious or deteriorated” during the past year.
Forty-five percent of respondents said that their personal incomes have not risen despite the economic growth, against 26.5 percent that said it had.
Taking inflation into account, 67.6 percent of respondents said that they had less money to spend than before.
On Taiwan’s international space, 42 percent said that it had deteriorated, while 36.6 percent felt it had increased.
Another top concern according to the survey was the government’s efforts to rein in skyrocketing housing prices.
Almost seven in 10 respondents said that they disproved of the government’s efforts, with four saying that they were “extremely unhappy.”
“The people don’t feel like their lives are improving, but the government doesn’t seem to care,” Chen said. “Ma’s administration should look back to see whether these are the changes that it … promised the Taiwanese people.”
Overall, 51.3 percent of respondents said they disapproved of the Ma administration’s performance in the past three years, while 43.8 percent said they approved, the DPP poll showed.
The survey polled 942 people and has a margin of error of 3.2 percent.