President Tsai Ing-wen’s (蔡英文) and Premier Su Tseng-chang’s (蘇貞昌) approval ratings fell significantly this month in the wake of the government’s handling of the distribution of relief funds and stimulus coupons to people and businesses affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, a poll released yesterday by the New Power Party (NPP) showed.
The poll showed that 68 percent of respondents said they were satisfied with Tsai’s performance, down 8.9 percentage points from last month, while 21 percent said they disapproved of her performance.
Her approval among respondents aged 20 to 29 fell 14.7 percentage points, the largest decrease when compared with other age groups.
Photo: George Tsorng, Taipei Times
Su’s approval rating slid 7.9 percentage points to 65 percent, and 25 percent said they were dissatisfied with his performance.
Similarly, his approval rate fell the most among respondents aged 20 to 29, dropping 22 percentage points, the poll showed.
NPP Chairman Hsu Yung-ming (徐永明) said that the decline was normal as the Tsai administration had been in its “honeymoon” phase after she was re-elected in January.
The administration needs to be careful that its approval does not fall too quickly, Hsu said, adding that the decline might be connected with how the administration mishandled the distribution of relief funds and stimulus coupons.
“It appears that people were critical of the chaos when the Tsai administration implemented the policy of distributing financial relief funds to people and businesses affected by the COVID-19 outbreak,” National Taiwan Normal University political science professor Fan Shih-ping (范世平) said.
The administration’s ratings reached their peak when it succeeded in containing the spread of COVID-19, but it began to slide after its stimulus package, Fan said.
The “honeymoon” is over, Fan added.
The decline in approval among younger respondents was worrisome, and might be indicative of how they would vote in the recall election of Kaohsiung Mayor Han Kuo-yu (韓國瑜) on Saturday, Fan said.
The poll showed that 47.9 percent of respondents said they approved of how the government distributed the financial relief funds, whereas 43.5 percent said they disapproved.
About 64 percent of respondents said they agreed with the rules governing the distribution of stimulus coupons, and 62.9 percent said they were confident in the government’s ability to implement the stimulus package, the poll shows.
When asked to rate how well Tsai had delivered on her promises to tackle high housing prices, high costs of living, long working hours and low wages, 55.8 percent said they disapproved of her performance.
About 42 percent said that they were satisfied with her judicial reform efforts, but 46 percent said they were dissatisfied.
Although 48.4 percent said they were satisfied with how the government handled labor rights issues, 45 percent said they were dissatisfied.
Nearly 70 percent said that the proportion of women in the Cabinet should increase, the poll showed.
About 60 percent of respondents said they supported a draft refugee act and an amendment to the Act Governing Relations With Hong Kong and Macau (香港澳門關係條例) to aid Hong Kongers after Beijing passed national security legislation for the territory.
The poll also found that 48.6 percent of respondents said it would be more appropriate to use “Taiwan” to refer to the nation, and 60 percent said that the Constitution should be amended.
The survey was conducted by Trend Survey and Research Co on May 25 and 26 through telephone interviews of randomly selected people aged 20 or older. It collected 811 valid samples, and has a margin of error of 3.44 percentage points.
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