Pension reform, long-term care, high housing prices and taxation equity are the biggest policymaking challenges facing Taiwan’s incoming government, according to a recent poll conducted by Taipei City-based newspaper United Daily News.
The results reflect high public expectations of Taiwanese President-elect Tsai Ing-wen and her Democratic Progressive Party administration after taking office May 20. The DPP chairwoman’s campaign platform centered on distributive justice.
Taiwan’s pension crisis is an intergenerational concern and tops the list of concerns for those aged 20-29 and 30-49, the telephone poll involving 1,019 adults found.
The country’s four state-backed systems face serious challenges including insufficient funding, differing benefits for retirees and an unduly heavy contributor burden on future generations. ROC [Republic of China] National Audit Office data forecast the systems face bankruptcy beginning 2019 if no action is taken.
Those aged 50 and above are primarily concerned about senior long-term care, with the majority favoring a national insurance system. The issue is a tough one given Taiwan’s rapidly aging population.
For the younger generation, skyrocketing housing prices are aggravating a deeply entrenched perception of social inequality. A total of 89 percent of respondents also identify Taiwan’s widening wealth gap as a serious problem.
More than a third of respondents believe Tsai’s administration cannot clear these hurdles without public involvement in policymaking. Opinion polls, referendums and greater data transparency are seen as vital to the process. Around 66 percent expect concrete results from the new government by the end of its four-year term in office.