Majority disagrees with fuel price hike, say cash handouts won't help: Survey

Alinea ID – September 22, 2022
Students demonstrate in front of parliament building gates in Jakarta – September 9, 2022 (Akurat)

Gempita Surya – A national survey by the polling group Charta Politika has revealed that more than 65 percent of respondents disagree with the recent fuel (BBM) price hike.

The survey began with questions on the respondents' knowledge about the price increase and found that 95.8 percent of respondents knew about the policy. Respondents were then asked if they agreed with the price increase. As many as 69 percent of respondents stated that they disagreed, 22 percent replied that they agreed and 9 percent did not know or did not answer.

Charta Politika Executive Director Yunarto Wijaya said that the respondents who disagreed were given a follow up question related their response to the fuel price increase. The follow up question was given in order to see how those who oppose the policy have responded to it.

"Among those who declared they disagreed, 51.4 percent of respondents stated that they remained silent and accepted the policy", said Wijaya in his explanation which was broadcast on the Charta Politika Indonesia YouTube channel on Thursday September 22.

Wijaya then revealed that 21.7 percent of the respondents who disagreed responded by protesting on social media and supporting online petitions against the government. Meanwhile 17.8 percent of those who disagreed took part in demonstrations challenging the policy.

The survey also asked respondents if they agreed or not with the social assistance program provided by the government. Wijaya said that 51.5 percent of respondents agreed.

Charta Politika also asked about the effectiveness of the social assistance program in alleviating the impact of the fuel price hike. Respondents generally considered that the program was ineffective in address the economic impacts.

"As many as 57.6 percent of respondents stated that social aid is ineffective in addressing the economic impacts of the BBM price increase", said Wijaya.

In concert with the fuel price increase, the government has been pushing the public to shift to environmentally friendly transport modes such as electric vehicles.

Related to this, the findings of the survey showed that the majority of respondents were not interested in shifting to or purchasing an electric vehicle.

"The majority of respondents or 61 percent were not interested in moving to or purchasing an electric powered vehicle. The main reason for this, 31.8 percent of respondents who were not interested stated that they considered the price of electric powered vehicles was still too high", explained Wijaya.

Meanwhile 28.6 percent of respondents who were not interested stated that they were still not convinced or did not yet understand the technology or how to use electric vehicles. Another 25.6 percent of respondents said that they felt more comfortable with a vehicle using petrol and 10.5 percent stated that it is still difficult to get an electric vehicle.

The survey was conducted on September 6-13 using face-to-face interviews and a structured questionnaire with a sample size of 1,220 respondents in 34 provinces.

A multistage random sampling method was used with a plus or minus 2.82 percent margin of error and a 95 percent level of confidence. The survey also studied the trends shown by several earlier Charta Politika surveys.

[Translated by James Balowski. The original title of the article was "Charta Politika: 69 percent publik tak setuju harga BBM naik".]