Most Taiwanese would support a universal cash relief program amid the COVID-19 pandemic, the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) said yesterday, urging the government to listen to the people.
The KMT has been calling on the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) administration to issue cash to every Taiwanese amid nationwide restrictions after an outbreak began in May.
It said that its survey results support the proposal.
Photo provided by the Chinese Nationalist Party
The survey showed that 66.1 percent of respondents hope that the government would distribute cash, KMT Culture and Communications Committee director-general Alicia Wang (王育敏) told a news conference in Taipei.
The results showed that 53.4 percent of DPP supporters and 68.1 percent of non-partisan respondents back the proposal, Wang said.
The DPP administration has been sluggish in implementing relief measures, showing that it is indifferent and apathetic to people’s suffering amid the pandemic, she said.
People desperately need cash relief, but the government has been slow to meet their expectation, showing that it has been distanced from the public, KMT Legislator Hung Meng-kai (洪孟楷) said.
The government last year spent NT$48.7 billion (US$1.74 billion) on its Triple Stimulus Vouchers program, including NT$2.3 billion on administration, money that could have been given to the people, Hung said.
The unemployment rate has reached 4.8 percent, a 10-year high, and the outbreak has affected the work situation of nearly 1 million people, KMT Culture and Communications Committee deputy director-general Wang Hong-wei (王鴻薇) said, asking whether the government’s relief measures have answered their needs.
Wang Hong-wei said that the government’s online COVID-19 vaccination booking system is deceptive.
While 3.86 million people have booked Moderna vaccine shots, the government has fewer than 700,000 Moderna doses in stock, she said.
About 2.85 million people have received an initial Moderna jab, but there is doubt about whether there will be enough for them all to receive a second dose of the same brand, she said.
The survey showed that 62.3 percent of respondents said the government’s vaccination plan is not suited to returning life to normal, with 31 percent saying it can.
The survey showed that 59.8 percent disapproved of the Executive Yuan rejecting vaccine procurement plans proposed by four KMT-run local governments, with 31.2 percent approving.
Meanwhile, 74.6 percent agreed with a KMT call to promote absentee voting — including 65.3 percent among DPP supporters — with 19 percent disagreeing, the survey showed.
The survey, which was commissioned by the KMT, was conducted by Taiwan Real Survey Co from Tuesday to Thursday last week via telephone, garnering 1,069 valid responses. It has a margin of error of 3 percentage points.
At a separate news conference, the KMT reiterated its call for universal cash relief.
The nation’s misery index, which incorporates inflation and unemployment, has reached 6.59 percent, almost double 2.86 percent in May last year and 3.21 percent in June last year, KMT caucus whip Alex Fai (費鴻泰) said, adding that data from recent college graduates have not yet been included.
The government must release the names of the officials on the Central Epidemic Command Center’s category 2 vaccination priority list, the KMT said.
President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文), Premier Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌), Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung (陳時中) and the DPP legislative caucus have claimed that there are enough vaccines, but that is because high-ranking officials are in the No. 2 category, KMT Legislator Jessica Chen (陳玉珍) said.
The government should reveal who these officials are and they should be prioritized for domestically developed vaccines, she said.
Additional reporting by Chen Yun
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