Taipei--More than 65 percent of the respondents to a survey conducted by the ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) voiced support for the government's "forward-looking infrastructure development plan," the DPP said on Thursday.
In a news conference, DPP Deputy Secretary-General Hsu Chia-ching (???) said that about 65.6 percent of the poll respondents said they support the massive economic development project, while 31.4 percent said they oppose the plan.
The latest survey on the plan shows an increase in supporters compared with previous similar polls conducted by various organizations.
Among the earlier polls, a survey released by the Taiwanese Public Opinion Foundation on Monday showed that 50 percent of the respondents said they do not support the plan, compared with 37 percent who expressed support.
Another poll released by Cathay Financial Holding Co. (???) earlier this month indicated that almost two-thirds of the respondents do not support the plan.
Under the proposed infrastructure plan, the government will spend NT$882.49 billion (US$29.06 billion) over eight years on five types of infrastructure: rail transportation, water environment, urban and rural development, digital development, and green energy. The project is still pending approval from the Legislative Yuan.
Hsu said that the results obtained by the DPP survey come after pollsters detailed the massive infrastructure project -- which is an anchor for the DPP government to stimulate the local economy -- to the respondents.
Hsu said that before detailing the plan, only 31.1 percent of the respondents said they supported the project with 27.3 percent of them opposing, while about 40 percent did not express an opinion.
However, Hsu said, after the pollsters detailed the plan, the support rate increased.
The details provided by the pollsters included the information that the plan will assign NT$420 billion in rail transportation projects such as rail development in Hualien and Taitung, rail projects in central and southern Taiwan for tourism purposes, and rapid transit networks in urban areas, Hsu said.
She said the pollsters also told the respondents that the massive economic development would pour in NT$130 billion to solve problems such as a lack of parking space, and NT$46 billion in green energy development.
The government would invest about NT$250 billion under the plan to improve water environment in a bid to avoid water shortages and flooding, while increasing water quality.
According to the survey, 57.6 percent of the respondents agree that the infrastructure plan will put more emphasis on the development of central, southern and eastern Taiwan, which is expected to narrow the gap between northern Taiwan and other parts of the country.
The survey shows that 59.8 percent of the respondents agree the project is an investment for the next generation, while 61.9 percent of them said the project will be helpful for Taiwan's economy in the future.
The DPP said that the survey, conducted June 26-28, collected 1,096 valid questionnaires with a confidence level of 95 percent and a margin of error of plus or minus 3.0 percentage points.s
Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel