A recent survey by Jakarta-based public opinion pollster Politik Indonesia shows that the economic impacts of the COVID-19 epidemic have caused a declining trend in public trust.Indikator executive director Burhanuddin Muhtadi said that the “significant” waning of public trust in government could be a result of the economic impacts of the health crisis, which had prompted regional administrations to enforce months of quarantine, social distancing and restrictions on economic activities.”When I conducted the regression analysis, I found that the worsening economic condition greatly impacted the public trust in democratic institutions,” Burhanuddin told The Jakarta Post on Wednesday.Regression analysis basically examines the cause-and-effect relationship between a dependent variable and a set of independent variable; it is called “regression” because the method uses historical data.The survey, conducted between May 16 and 18, involved 1,200 respondents across Indonesia regarding their level of trust in President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo, the House of Representatives (DPR), the Regional Representatives Council (DPD), the People’s Consultative Assembly (MPR), the Indonesian Military (TNI), the National Police and the Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK).Compared to Indikator’s previous survey in February, the latest survey shows a dip in public trust. However, the survey’s respondents generally trusted the government, with at least 60 percent checking “strongly trust” or “somewhat trust” in their responses.Read also: Indonesia records spike in COVID-19 cases as govt eases restrictionsThe President’s approval rating remained relatively high at 82.8 percent, dropping by 9.4 percentage points from 92.2 percent in the February survey.The May survey also showed growing dissatisfaction in the government’s COVID-19 response and democracy in general, but not Jokowi.The May survey showed that trust in the DPR declined 14.5 percentage points from 74.6 percent in February to 60.1 percent. Trust in the DPD fared a little better, declining 11.1 percentage points from 74.6 percent to 63.5 percent in May, while trust in the MPR dipped 7 percentage points from 79.1 percent to 72.1 percent.Among law and security institutions, the KPK recorded the lowest level of trust, declining 6.6 percentage points from 81.3 percent to 74.7 percent, followed by the National Police recording a decline of 6.2 percentage points from 85.6 percent to 79.4 percent.The TNI recorded the highest level of trust but saw the largest decline, dipping 9.9 percentage points from 95.4 percent to 85.5 percent.Meanwhile, 74.1 percent of respondents indicated trust in the judiciary, which was not covered in the February survey.Regarding the economic variable, 81 percent of respondents perceived the economic condition in May as “bad”, the worst response recorded since 2004. Indikator’s 2015 survey was the second worst, with 47.9 percent rating the economy as “bad”.Indonesia’s economy grew 2.97 percent in the first quarter of 2020, the lowest since 2001, as household spending and investment growth slowed in response to the outbreak.Read also: COVID-19: Jokowi urges ministry to reach out to poor families amid uneven aid distributionThe World Bank recently revised its growth projection to zero percent for Indonesia if it implemented the large-scale social restrictions (PSBB) for two months amid the severe global economic slowdown and falling commodity prices. It also projected economic shrinkage of 3.5 percent in the worst-case scenario of the PSBB lasting four months.In response to the economic impacts of the health crisis, the government has proceeded with its plan for gradually transitioning to its “new normal” phase in June. The plan involves easing the PSBB and cautiously reopening the economy with strict health protocols in certain regions, including the nation’s capital and COVID-19 epicenter of Jakarta.”The government responded with the ‘new normal’ measure because the economy would be devastated if the strict PSBB measures were to continue. On the other hand, the middle class is urging to continue [with] the PSBB because the previous attempts had [not] succeeded in mitigating the [outbreak],” said Burhanuddin.The May survey showed that 60.7 percent of respondents believed that the government should prioritize public health in its COVID-19 response, whereas 33.9 percent said the government should prioritize the economy.”We should find a solution. If the economy is hit severely, democracy will also be damaged as well. However, the government should not rush to implement the new normal by sacrificing public health,” Burhanuddin said.As of Thursday, Indonesia reported 979 new cases to bring the cumulative total to 35,295 confirmed cases, with 12,636 recovered and 2,000 deaths.Topics :
In Brussels-speak, the word ‘probably’ could mean ‘not for a very long time’, warns Jeremy WoolfeThe clearance of the draft IORP II Directive through the European Parliament’s key Economic and Monetary Control Committee (ECON) committee, due in the first week of December, has now been delayed.The new set date is “probably” 25 January 2016, a parliamentary official informs IPE, but with the word “probably” emphasised.Explanation for the existing and possible further hold-up is that major political parties have yet to agree on major “compromises” (amendments), meaning there remain major different opinions. These include the serious issues of cross-border matters, funding rules and transparency.As a result, the word “probably” could be translated, in Brussels-speak, as “not for a very long time”! This would obviously upset reformists.Overall, the status quo today appears not much removed from that in, say, October 2013, when Matti Leppälä, secretary general at PensionsEurope, gave a general thumbs-up for the new rules while calling for something not too “burdensome”.At the same time, other archives show that the European Insurance and Occupational Pensions Authority’s relevant stakeholder group (OPSG) suggested the need for a serious upgrade to the IORP I of 2003. The group noted that many of Europe’s estimated 140,000, mostly small pension schemes were less efficient than if the individual retirement savers had invested alone.The European Commission itself is, at present, keeping largely mum: “We don’t have much to say at this stage.”But Better Finance recently wrote a bitter letter addressed to Brian Hayes MEP, the centre-right ECON committee coordinator. Guillaume Prache, head of the consumer interest group, noted that the “proposed amendments in the ECON draft report would mean a very significant step back in the protection of EU pension savers”.It argued against a watering down of the information IORP participants would receive through the so-called Pension Benefit Statement (PBS). The letter then went on to complain about ECON proposals to delete Commission requirement for disclosure of funding levels to participants. The body went on to comment that the amendments to IORP II were clearly in direct contradiction to the Capital Markets Union Action Plan.Historical background is that the new rules for occupational pensions, as proposed by the Commission in April 2014, passed first to the Council of the EU, representing national governments, before going on to the Parliament. This order is contrary to normal practice.In December 2014, the Council gave crucial support for the removal of remaining prudential barriers for cross-border IORPs, while advocating provisions for clear and relevant information to members and beneficiaries. In addition, the member states’ position was, and most likely still is, to recommend good governance and risk management, and ensure that supervisors have the necessary tools to supervise IORPs effectively.One has to ask why MEPs, who supposedly also reflect the views of their national interests, should now have suggested a mammoth number of 700 amendments during the later committee processing stage?As for next steps, the Dutch six-month presidency, starting in January 2016, is considered unlikely to tolerate matters dragging on after any vote in the European Parliament. However, it will also face the need for the whole re-worked shooting bag to have to go back to “trilogue”, which would involve the Commission, the Council and Parliament having to get together in three-way meetings to agree finalisation. Only an optimist would see this lasting just another 2-3 months.As stated by Erik Hormes, from the office of Paul Tang, centre-left MEP shadow coordinator for IORPS II in the ECON committee, he has never seen a Directive on “such a slow burn”.That’s certainly one way of putting it.