Majority of people do not understand the Forward-looking program: survey

More than 60 percent of the public does not understand what the Forward-looking Infrastructure Development Program is and a majority do not believe it would improve the economy, a recent poll said.

The poll was conducted by Hsing Wu University for the Grassroots Influence Foundation from June 12 to Tuesday last week, with 1,155 valid samples and a 3 percent margin of error.

According to the survey, 60.86 percent of respondents said they are mostly uninformed or completely uninformed about the government’s infrastructure plan, and 51 percent said it would not improve the economy.

Another 44.07 percent said they do not believe the infrastructure program would help balance the nation’s rural and urban economies, and 47.18 percent said the plan was “not forward-looking enough.”

The poll found 48.31 percent of respondents are opposed to using half of its budget to build light railways, with 58.52 percent saying light rail projects are wasteful.

Although 40.43 percent said they believe the distribution of infrastructure funds is non-partisan, 48.74 percent said the plan rewards Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) loyalists.

Demographic analysis of the poll showed that older respondents were more likely to understand the infrastructure plan and were also more likely to have negative views of it.

Better-educated respondents were more likely to be concerned about the plan being wasteful or a reward for DPP loyalists, the poll said.

Taichung, and Changhua and Nantou county residents were most likely to have negative views of the light rail plans or the infrastructure plan as a whole, while Kaohsiung, and Pingtung County residents are most likely to have a favorable view, it said.

“The poll suggests that instead of trying to expedite its passage through the legislature, the government should withdraw its NT$882.49 billion (US$28.9 billion) infrastructure plan for revision. It needs to improve its planning and communication so the public can understand it. The government needs to re-evaluate plan’s goals to avoid waste,” the foundation said.

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