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.
Photo: George Tsorng, Taipei Times
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.
‘CORNERED ENEMY’: China’s rise is threatening peace and stability, and the US would aim to restrict it with help from allies in the Asia-Pacific, Soong Hseik-wen said A draft bill on protecting Taiwan from invasion is likely to be passed by the US Congress, but it remains to be seen how US President Joe Biden’s administration would implement the act if it is passed, Taiwanese academics said on Sunday. US Senator Rick Scott and US Representative Guy Reschenthaler on Thursday reintroduced the proposed Taiwan Invasion Prevention Act, which was shelved in September last year due to the impending US presidential election. Arthur Ding (丁樹範), a professor at National Chengchi University’s College of International Affairs, and Soong Hseik-wen (宋學文), a professor at National Chung Cheng University’s Graduate Institute
OVERHAUL NEEDED: The government should improve its agricultural processing capabilities and expand to new markets to limit its reliance on China, an expert said China’s ban on Taiwanese pineapples was “unsurprising,” and Taiwan should have years ago altered its produce export strategies and target customers, experts said. China on Friday abruptly suspended imports of pineapples from Taiwan, saying that it had on multiple occasions discovered “harmful biological entities” on the fruit. Calling it an “unfriendly” move, the Council of Agriculture (COA) said that 99.79 percent of the pineapples sent to China since last year have met China’s import standards. Chiao Chun (焦鈞), the author of Fruits and Politics — A Recollection of Cross-strait Agricultural Interaction Over the Past Decade (水果政治學：兩岸農業交流十年回顧與展望), said that China’s announcement is clearly targeting
‘NOT COLD ENOUGH’: Schools are disregarding Premier Su Tseng-chang’s instruction that students may wear out-of-uniform clothing to stay warm, an association said An investigative report revealed that 72.5 percent of the nation’s senior-high schools and 95.6 percent of junior-high schools punish students for wearing unapproved winter clothes in contravention of educational guidelines, lawmakers and student rights advocates said yesterday. Speaking at a news conference at the Legislative Yuan, the Taiwan Youth Association for Democracy said there is an endemic disregard for the Ministry of Education’s regulations and that private schools are more likely to contravene ministry rules. The report is a compilation of 2,856 student reports about dress code reinforcement at 425 high schools and vocational high schools, the association said. Premier Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌)
DISSATISFACTION? If the referendums collect more than 700,000 signatures each, they would have gotten the most signatures in the shortest time, the party said The Chinese Nationalist Party’s (KMT) two referendum petitions — one on banning the importation of pork with traces of ractopamine and the other on holding referendums on the same day as national elections — had as of Thursday gathered 691,398 and 674,497 signatures respectively, the party said yesterday. If the petitions collect more than 700,000 signatures apiece, they would have garnered the most signatures in the shortest time since the Referendum Act (公民投票法) was amended in 2017, party officials said. The KMT proposed the “anti-ractopamine pork” or “food safety” referendum just days after President Tsai Ing-wen’s (蔡英文) announcement on Aug. 28 last