S. Korea leader approval rating hits new low


SEOUL: President Park Geun-hye’s approval rating hit a new low of 30 percent this week amid public backlash over the government’s new tax settlement scheme, a survey showed on Friday.

The survey on 1,001 adults nationwide showed that 30 percent of those surveyed approved of Park’s job performance, while 60 percent disapproved, according to polling agency Gallup Korea.

The new record comes a week after Park’s approval rating tumbled to what was then her all-time low of 35 percent.

“Last week’s drop was attributable to the distance felt between the president and public opinion during [Park’s] new year’s press conference, while the key reason for this week’s drop can be said to be the controversy over the year-end tax filings,” Gallup said.

The government and the ruling party have scrambled to expand tax credits following revelations the new tax settlement scheme will require some people with an annual income of less than 55 million won ($50,700) to pay additional taxes this year.

Among those who disapproved of Park’s performance, 17 percent accused her of poor communication skills, the survey showed. Other reasons included the revised tax scheme at 15 percent, economic policies at 13 percent, poor welfare policies at 9 percent, unfulfilled campaign pledges at 8 percent, and personnel trouble at 8 percent.

The survey, conducted between Tuesday and Thursday, had a margin of error of plus or minus 3.1 percentage points.



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