Two events that occurred last week Monday had an austere effect on the nation’s psyche.
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T&T going in wrong direction
Two years into the tenure of Dr Keith Rowley’s People’s National Movement (PNM) administration, the country is deemed to be “going in the wrong direction” by the majority of respondents in a new survey of Government’s performance.
The findings of the opinion poll conducted by media and market research consultants HHB and Associates, led by Louis Bertrand, shows this to be the view of a startling 83 per cent of respondents.
In addition, 32 per cent, or just under one third of the people surveyed, said they approved of the job Rowley is doing as Prime Minister. Opposition Leader Kamla Persad-Bissessar fared slightly better with her job rating—43 of respondents said they approve of the job she is doing, which is 11 per cent better than Rowley’s.
However, the poll showed a significant relationship between job approval and race for the two leaders. While 53 per cent of Afro-Trinbagonians approve of the job Rowley is doing as Prime Minister, only 16 per cent of Indo-Trinbagonians do so and 62 per cent of Indo-Trinbagonians approve of the job Persad-Bissessar is doing compared with 43 per cent of Afro-Trinbagonians.
Crime and violence was ranked as the single most pressing problem facing the country by 66 per cent of respondents, while 15 per cent listed unemployment and nine per cent the cost of living. Corruption was considered to be the most important problem by only three per cent.
Government’s performance with respect to crime and violence was given a thumbs down by 75 per cent of respondents, with 36 per cent saying it was very bad and 39 per cent describing it as bad, while five per cent either refused comment or did not know. In addition, 72 per cent expressed little or no confidence that Government would be able to solve the problems related to crime and violence.
On the issue of unemployment, 83 per cent rated Government’s performance as being either very bad (44 per cent) or bad (39 per cent). Overall, 69 per cent expressed little (34 per cent) or no (35 per cent) confidence that the Government would be able to solve the problems related to unemployment.
With respect to corruption, 79 per cent rated the performance as either very bad (38 per cent) or bad (41 per cent) and 72 per cent expressed little (29 per cent) or no (43 per cent) confidence that Government would be able to solve the problems related to corruption.
The inter-island ferry issue was seen as a good example of corruption in government or government by 55 per cent of respondents, while 45 per cent agree that the recent arrest of former attorney general Anand Ramlogan is a good example of Government’s intention to end corruption.
Asked to indicate the main reason for the current state of the T&T economy, 39 per cent reported that corruption and incompetence on the part of the previous government was the primary reason. An almost equal percentage cite the fall in oil prices (31 per cent) and corruption and incompetence on the part of the current Government (30 per cent) as the main reason.
The survey, which had a margin of error of less than or equal to five per cent at the 95 per cent confidence level, was conducted by phone between September 1 and 3 using a random sample of 301 adults aged 18 and over and was drawn from HHB and Associates’ national, representative adult panel.
(More from poll tomorrow)
Editor’s note: Louis Bertrand and his HHB and Associates unit continue to be T&T’s leading team of pollsters and were the only ones to successfully call the seats the People’s National Movement would have won in the 2015 general elections.