Thu, Jul 20, 2017 - Page 3 News List

Poll finds pension reform pushed up president’s ratings

By Chen Wei-han  /  Staff reporter

A Taiwan Style Foundation representative yesterday displays a graphic during a news conference in Taipei as the organization released the results of an opinion poll on gaging the support ratings of President Tsai.

Photo: George Tsorng, Taipei Times

President Tsai Ing-wen’s (蔡英文) overall approval rating has rallied to 51.6 percent on the back of the passage of pension reform bills, a poll released yesterday by the Taiwan Style Foundation showed.

The poll found that more than 60 percent of respondents were satisfied with Tsai’s pension reform performance, while her approval rating climbed 4.9 percent from a July 3 survey.

However, her disapproval rating was 40.8 percent, and while 41.4 percent of those polled said they were satisfied with her overall performance — an 8 percentage-point increase from the July 3 poll — 54.3 percent said they were dissatisfied.

The approval rating of Premier Lin Chuan (林全) has also risen, from 28.7 percent on July 3 to 34.7 percent, but his disapproval rating remains high at 57.7 percent, the poll showed.

The Act Governing the Retirement and Pensions of Public-School Teachers and Employees (公立學校教職員退休撫卹條例) passed on June 27 reduced the pension benefits of public-sector employees.

Asked if they were satisfied with the reform, 62.8 percent of respondents said they were, while 31.1 percent said they were not.

The reform would have a positive effect on the nation’s development, 68.1 percent of respondents said, but 21.6 percent said it would have a negative effect.

While 61.9 percent of those polled said pension reform was a major achievement for Tsai, 30.6 percent said it was not.

The poll showed bipartisan support for the act across age groups and regions, suggesting the reform has hit its mark, Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Legislator Wang Ding-yu (王定宇) said.

“Tsai’s administration has to understand that public support would grow if it does the right thing and explains policies well. However, it would lose both [supporters and opponents of the pension reform] if it makes compromises to curry favor,” Wang said.

Regarding the Forward-looking Infrastructure Development Program, 61.5 percent of respondents said it would benefit the nation, while 27.3 percent said it would not.

While 59.3 percent of respondents supported the government’s introduction of the program, 31.1 percent opposed it.

The Chinese Nationalist Party’s (KMT) obstruction of Lin’s budget report for the program was approved by 26.8 percent of respondents, but disapproved by 60 percent.

The obstruction of legislative proceedings would negatively impact the KMT according to 50.4 percent of the respondents, while 30.2 percent said it would have a positive effect.

On the question of who should run Taipei, 59.5 percent of respondents said the DPP should field its own candidate instead of again backing independent Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je (柯文哲), while 20.7 percent opposed the idea.

That 72.1 percent of the DPP-inclined respondents wanted the party to pitch its own candidate suggests Ko’s support base is abandoning him, DPP Legislator Chuang Ruei-hsiung (莊瑞雄) said.

The poll was conducted on Sunday and Monday, collected 1,069 valid samples and has a confidence level of 95 percent and a margin of error of 2.99 percentage points.

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