President Ma Ying-jeou’s (馬英九) administration’s handling of economic forecasts, as well as recurring disputes over the Diaoyutai Islands (釣魚台), has been ridiculous and Ma should be held responsible, Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Chairman Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌) said yesterday.
“The Ma administration has not only overestimated GDP growth, but it is also clueless about how to save Taiwan’s failing economy,” Su said during a visit to Taoyuan County yesterday.
The Directorate-General of Budget, Accounting and Statistics on Friday cut its forecast for GDP growth this year to 1.66 percent, the eighth straight time it has revised downward its forecast for this year’s GDP growth since it submitted an estimated growth rate of 4.58 percent in August last year.
The former premier said the forecast was “ridiculous,” adding that it was Ma who ensured Taiwan’s economic situation worsened due to his insistence on raising electricity and fuel prices. Su said this continued to be the main reason that consumer prices rose over the past six months, although Ma knew very well the global economy was slowing.
The DPP national headquarters, its think tank and the legislative caucus are to announce the party’s economic plans before the next legislative session begins, Su said.
Ma has not handled the disputes over the Diaoyutais in a “civilized way which would promote regional peace,” Su added.
“Ma has failed to present a firm position on Taiwan’s sovereignty over the islands and he has done nothing for Taiwanese fishermen’s trawling rights,” Su said.
Asked for his opinion about an Yilan County Council resolution that demanded that Ma travel to the Diaoyutais to stake Taiwan’s sovereignty, Su said the resolution was a reflection of the concerns of people from Yilan County, where the DPP governs, over fishing rights.
The visit to Taoyuan County yesterday was Su’s second stop in a series of local visits that began with a trip to Tainan last week.
Su inspected a Taoyuan International Airport Mass Rapid Transit Line construction site at Kengkou Village (坑口), Lujhu Township (蘆竹). The new line is scheduled to begin service in June next year and is to connect Taipei with Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport.
“The lack of urban development and adequate road systems around several of the MRT stations is a perfect example of government failure,” Su said.
He called on the Ma administration to correct the mistakes and complete the project on time.
Village warden Yang Chuan-chu (楊全居), said at least three MRT stations along the line’s 23 terminals were not developed at all.
“There is to be a station at Kengkou, but there is no developed road system at all. As you can see, the MRT station sits right in the middle of a field with no perimeter development,” Yang said.