HKU POP releases the first Budget follow-up surveyBack

 
Press Release on March 5, 2013

| Special Announcements | Abstract | Background | Latest Figures | Commentary | Future Releases (Tentative) |
| Detailed Finding (Follow-up survey of the 2013 Financial Budget) |


Special Announcements

(1) “2013 Sha Tin District Council Tin Sum Constituency By-election Guessing Game” was launched

 

The “PopCon” e-platform (http://popcon.hk) hosted by the Public Opinion Programme (POP) at the University of Hong Kong is now running the “2013 Sha Tin District Council Tin Sum Constituency By-election Guessing Game”, users can now make guesses on the result of the Sha Tin District Council Tin Sum Constituency By-election due to take place on March 10, until 00:00AM on the election day.

 

(2) “PopVote Civil Referendum Project” kicks off again and calls for public donations

 

POP at the University of Hong Kong and Centre for Social Policy Studies at the Hong Kong Polytechnic University jointly held a press conference some time ago to introduce the future development of the “PopVote Civil Referendum Project”, as well as to invite donations of HKD800,000 from public to construct and enhance the e-Voting system. The general public can log onto the "Donate Now" page of the "PopVote" website (http://popvote.hk) and leave their contact information if they wish to make a donation.



Abstract

People’s instant reaction to the Budget in the first night was mediocre, with 30% satisfied, 31% dissatisfied, giving a net satisfaction rate of negative 1 percentage point. Satisfaction rating was 53.6 marks. One to two days later, after widespread coverage by the media, between February 28 and March 1, POP interviewed another 520 Hong Kong people by means of a random telephone survey conducted by real interviewers again. The latest survey shows that satisfaction rate significantly reduces to 23%, dissatisfaction rate goes up to 41%, net satisfaction rate drops to negative 18 percentage points, while satisfaction rating also goes down to 49.5 marks. This shows people’s response becomes more negative after digesting all information and discussions on the Budget so far, which is poorer than last year but not as bad as the year before. Of course, how people’s reaction will change after knowing even more about the Budget remains to be revealed by our follow-up survey to be conducted weeks later. According to our latest survey, people generally feel that the relief measures suggested by the FS this year are not enough, but they tend to support his injection of money into several funds and programmes, and not paying money to citizens directly. However, there are criticisms that such measures lack concrete planning and undertakings, and is a reflection of the ‘no right no wrong, do less err less’ mentality. Our survey shows that 60% agree to this criticism. Moreover, 51% consider Hong Kong’s tax system to be fair, but 67% consider the distribution of wealth to be unreasonable, and only 30% are satisfied with the government’s fiscal policies. The maximum sampling error of all percentages is +/-4 percentage points at 95% confidence level, while the sampling error of rating figures is +/-1.7, and net values need another calculation. The response rate of the survey is 66%.


Points to note:
[1] The address of the "HKU POP SITE" is http://hkupop.hku.hk, journalists can check out the details of the survey there.

[2] The sample size of this survey is 520 successful interviews, not 520 x 66.0% response rate. In the past, many media made this mistake.
[3] The maximum sampling error of all percentages is +/-4 percentage points at 95% confidence level, while the sampling error of rating figure and net value needs another calculation. "95% confidence level" means that if we were to repeat a certain survey 100 times, using the same questions each time but with different random samples, we would expect 95 times getting a figure within the error margins specified. When quoting these figures, journalists can state "sampling error of various ratings not more than +/-1.7 and sampling error of percentages not more than +/-4%, and net values not more than +/-7% at 95% confidence level"
.
[4] Because of sampling errors in conducting the survey, and rounding procedures in collating the figures, when quoting percentages of this survey, journalists should refrain from reporting decimal places, but when quoting the rating figures, one decimal place can be used, in order to match the precision level of the figures.
[5] The data of this survey is collected by means of random telephone interviews conducted by real interviewers, not by any interactive voice system (IVS). If a research organization uses "computerized random telephone survey" to camouflage its IVS operation, it should be considered unprofessional.



Background

In free and democratic societies, instant surveys are indispensable sources of free information. Combined with appropriate follow-up surveys, and in parallel to expert analyses, they give a multi-dimensional picture of opinion development. They are an important part of a society’s interactive development. In the United States, for example, every year after the President gives a “State of the Union” to Congress, their media would conduct instant polls to measure public opinion. For example again, whenever there are candidate debates in Taiwan and United States during presidential elections, which Hong Kong people seem to know more, there will be instant polls to gauge instant changes in candidate popularity. As a matter of fact, these professional instant polls are everywhere in advanced societies, and they are all completed within a day.

 

Since 1992, HKUPOP has already been conducting Policy Address instant surveys every year. From 1998 onwards, we expanded our instant surveys to cover the Budget Talks. Starting from 2008, we further enhanced our operation by splitting up our usual exercise into two rounds. In our first survey, we measure people’s overall appraisal of the Budget, their rating of the Budget, their change in confidence towards Hong Kong’s future, and the Financial Secretary’s popularity. In our second survey, we focus on people’s reactions towards major government proposals, their satisfaction with the government’s fiscal policies, and other relevant issues. Starting 2011, we revised our design to concentrate on people’s appraisal of the Budget and FS’s popularity in our instant survey, and move the remaining questions to our follow-up survey. There is no change to our operation this year.


Latest Figures

The findings of the first Budget follow-up poll released by the POP SITE today have been weighted according to provisional figures obtained from the Census and Statistics Department regarding the gender-age distribution of the Hong Kong population in mid-year 2012. Herewith the contact information of relevant surveys:

                       

Year of survey

Date of survey

Total sample size

Response rate

Sampling error of %[6]

2013 First Follow-up

28/2-1/3/2013

520

66.0%

+/-4%

2013 Instant

27/2/2013

1,024

67.3%

+/-3%

2012 First Follow-up

2-3/2/2012

504

63.7%

+/-4%

2012 Instant

1/2/2012

1,015

71.1%

+/-3%

2011 First Follow-up

24-25/2/2011

515

72.6%

+/-4%

2011 Instant

23/2/2011

1,031

72.8%

+/-3%

2010 First Follow-up

25-27/2/2010

517

67.1%

+/-4%

2010 Instant

24/2/2010

1,008

65.9%

+/-3%

2009 First Follow-up

26/2/2009

525

66.5%

+/-4%

2009 Instant

25/2/2009

1,015

67.7%

+/-3%

2008 First Follow-up

28/2/2008

525

70.1%

+/-4%

2008 Instant

27/2/2008

1,077

75.5%

+/-3%

2007 Instant

28/2/2007

1,018

65.2%

+/-3%

2006 Instant

22/2/2006

1,026

68.3%

+/-3%

2005 Instant

16/3/2005

1,041

65.2%

+/-3%

2004 Instant

10/3/2004

1,023

64.7%

+/-3%

2003 Instant

5/3/2003

1,047

71.4%

+/-3%

2002 Instant

6/3/2002

1,041

59.9%

+/-3%

2001 Instant

7-8/3/2001

502

67.1%

+/-4%

2000 Instant

8/3/2000

856

56.4%

+/-3%

1999 Instant

3/3/1999

1,190

62.1%

+/-3%

1998 Instant

18/2/1998

804

54.7%

+/-4%

[6] Errors are calculated at 95% confidence level using full sample size. “95% confidence level” means that if we were to repeat a certain survey 100 times, using the same questions each time but with different random samples, we would expect 95 times getting a figure within the error margins specified. Questions using only sub-samples would have bigger sample error. Sampling errors of ratings are calculated according to the distribution of the scores collected.

Results of the first Budget follow-up surveys of 2011 to 2013 together with their corresponding instant polls are tabulated below:

2013

 

Instant survey[10]

First follow-up survey[7]

Latest change

Date of survey

27/2/2013

28/2-1/3/2013

--

Sample base

1,024

520

--

Overall response rate

67.3%

66.0%

--

Appraisal of Budget: Satisfaction rate[8]

30%[9]

23+/-4%

-7%[9]

Appraisal of Budget: Dissatisfaction rate[8]

31%[9]

41+/-4%

+10%[9]

Net satisfaction rate

-1+/-5%

-18+/-7%

-17%[9]

Mean value[8]

2.9+/-0.1
(base=793)

2.7+/-0.1
(base=497)

-0.2[9]

Satisfaction rating of Budget (0 to 100 marks)

53.6[9]

49.5+/-1.7

-4.1[9]

2012

 

Instant survey[11]

First follow-up survey[7]

Latest change

Date of survey

1/2/2012

2-3/2/2012

--

Sample base

1,015

504

--

Overall response rate

71.1%

63.7%

--

Appraisal of Budget: Satisfaction rate[8]

38%

39+/-4%

+1%

Appraisal of Budget: Dissatisfaction rate[8]

26%

30+/-4%

+4%

Net satisfaction rate

12+/-6%

9+/-7%

-3%

Mean value[8]

3.1+/-0.1
(base=801)

3.0+/-0.1
(base=484)

-0.1

Satisfaction rating of Budget (0 to 100 marks)

57.0

52.6+/-1.8

-4.4[9]

2011

 

Instant survey[12]

First follow-up survey[7]

Latest change

Date of survey

23/2/2011

24-25/2/2011

--

Sample base

1,031

515

--

Overall response rate

72.8%

72.6%

--

Appraisal of Budget: Satisfaction rate[8]

27%

20+/-4%

-7%[9]

Appraisal of Budget: Dissatisfaction rate[8]

35%

53+/-4%

+18%[9]

Net satisfaction rate

-8+/-5%

-33+/-7%

-25%[9]

Mean value[8]

2.8+/-0.1
(base=884)

2.4+/-0.1
(base=500)

-0.4[9]

Satisfaction rating of Budget (0 to 100 marks)

51.5

41.7+/-2.1

-9.8[9]

[7] All error figures in the table are calculated at 95% confidence level. "95% confidence level" means that if we were to repeat a certain survey 100 times, using the same questions each time but with different random samples, we would expect 95 times getting a figure within the error margins specified. Questions using only sub-samples would have bigger sample error. Sampling errors of ratings are calculated according to the distribution of the scores collected.
[8] Collapsed from a 5-point scale. The mean value is calculated by quantifying all individual responses into 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 marks according to their degree of positive level, where 1 is the lowest and 5 the highest, and then calculate the sample mean.
[9] Such changes have gone beyond the sampling errors at the 95% confidence level, meaning that they are statistically significant prima facie. However, whether numerical differences are statistically significant or not is not the same as whether they are practically useful or meaningful.
[10] Excluding respondents who said they had not heard of the Budget, or were not clear about the Budget content. The sub-sample size was 813.
[11] Excluding respondents who said they had not heard of the Budget, or were not clear about the Budget content. The sub-sample size was 826.
[12] Excluding respondents who said they had not heard of the Budget, or were not clear about the Budget content. The sub-sample size was 911.


Our first Budget follow-up survey reveals that 23% of the respondents were satisfied with the Budget and 41% were dissatisfied, thus net satisfaction stands at negative 18 percentage points. The mean score is 2.7, meaning in between "half-half" and "quite dissatisfied". The average rating registered for the Budget was 49.5 marks. With respect to people's specific reactions towards the contents of this year's Budget, relevant findings are summarized below:

 

Date of survey

28/2-1/3/2013 [13]

Sample base

520

Overall response rate

66.0%

Measures suggested by the Financial Secretary to relieve people’s stress brought by the economic downturn include: waiving rates for 2013–14, subject to a ceiling of $1,500 per quarter, granting each residential electricity account a subsidy of $1,800, paying two months’ rent for public housing tenants, increasing the child allowance, granting an extra-month allowance to CSSA and the Old Age Living Allowance recipients, and reducing salaries tax by 75%, subject to a ceiling of $10,000. Do you think these measures are enough?

Enough

Not Enough

Don’t know/ hard to say

Total

34+/-4%

58+/-4%

8+/-2%

100%

Financial Secretary John Tsang suggested the injection for several funds and programmes, which involved over 4-billion-dollar public fund, and included $1.5 billion injection into the Community Care Fund and another $1.5 billion injection into the Employees Retraining Board. Are you satisfied with this arrangement?

Satisfied

Half-half

Dissatisfied

Don’t know/ hard to say

Total

41+/-4%

20+/-4%

31+/-4%

8+/-2%

100%

Financial Secretary John Tsang gave a grant of $6,000 to each citizen aged 18 or above two years ago, yet such a grant did not appear last year and this year. Are you satisfied with this arrangement?

Satisfied

Half-half

Dissatisfied

Don’t know/ hard to say

Total

48+/-4%

17+/-3%

32+/-4%

4+/-2%

100%

There is a saying that the budget plan this year was “no right no wrong, do less err less”. To what extent do you agree or disagree with this saying?

Agree

Half-half

Disagree

Don’t know/ hard to say

Total

60+/-4%

14+/-3%

21+/-4%

5+/-2%

100%

[13] All error figures in the table are calculated at 95% confidence level. “95% confidence level” means that if we were to repeat a certain survey 100 times, using the same questions each time but with different random samples, we would expect 95 times getting a figure within the error margins specified.

Results showed that, 34% of the respondents thought that the relief measures suggested by the Financial Secretary are enough, 58% thought the opposite. Financial Secretary suggested the injection for several funds and programmes, and 41% are satisfied with this arrangement, 31% are dissatisfied. Besides, the grant of $6,000 to each citizen in the budget plan two years ago did not appear last year and this year, and 48% are satisfied with this arrangement, 32% are dissatisfied. On the other hand, 60% of the respondents agree to the saying that the budget plan this year was “no right no wrong, do less err less”, 21% disagree to it. With respect to people’s satisfaction with the government’s strategy in monetary arrangement and other relevant issues, the figures are summarized below:

 

Date of survey

Total sample

Satisfied with the government’s strategy in monetary arrangement[15]

Dissatisfied with the government’s strategy in monetary arrangement[15]

Perceived the tax system in Hong Kong to be fair[16]

Perceived the tax system in
Hong Kong to be unfair [16]

Perceived the distribution of wealth in Hong Kong to be reasonable[16]

Perceived the distribution of wealth in Hong Kong to be unreasonable[16]

28/2-1/3/2013[14]

520

30+/-4%

42+/-4%

51+/-4%

37+/-4%

19+/-3%

67+/-4%

2-3/2/2012[14]

504

33+/-4%

43+/-4%

56+/-4%

32+/-4%

20+/-4%

70+/-4%

24-25/2/2011[14]

515

21+/-4%

52+/-4%

51+/-4%

39+/-4%

16+/-3%

74+/-4%

25-27/2/2010[14]

517

34+/-4%

30+/-4%

60+/-4%

31+/-4%

27+/-4%

62+/-4%

26/2/2009[14]

525

30+/-4%

34+/-4%

64+/-4%

29+/-4%

29+/-4%

62+/-4%

28/2/2008[14]

525

60+/-4%

12+/-3%

67+/-4%

22+/-4%

42+/-4%

45+/-4%

28/2/2007[14]

1,018

49+/-3%

10+/-2%

63+/-3%

28+/-3%

34+/-3%

52+/-3%

22/2/2006[14]

1,026

36+/-3%

15+/-2%

55+/-3%

34+/-3%

32+/-3%

55+/-3%

16/3/2005[14]

1,041

29+/-3%

15+/-2%

59+/-3%

27+/-3%

29+/-3%

51+/-3%

10/3/2004[14]

1,023

18+/-2%

29+/-3%

58+/-3%

31+/-3%

22+/-3%

62+/-3%

5/3/2003[14]

1,047

12+/-2%

45+/-3%

51+/-3%

33+/-3%

19+/-2%

60+/-3%

6/3/2002[14]

1,041

26+/-3%

21+/-3%

55+/-3%

29+/-3%

25+/-3%

52+/-3%

7-8/3/2001[14]

502

45+/-5%*

14+/-3%

--

--

--

--

8/3/2000[14]

856

60+/-4%*

9+/-2%

--

--

--

--

18/2/1998[14]

804

42+/-3%

13+/-2%

--

--

--

--

[14] All error figures in the table are calculated at 95% confidence level. “95% confidence level” means that if we were to repeat a certain survey 100 times, using the same questions each time but with different random samples, we would expect 95 times getting a figure within the error margins specified.
[15] Collapsed from a 5-point scale.
[16] Collapsed from a 4-point scale.
* Erratum: The figures in the original release were mistyped, with regret.


Latest results revealed that 30% were satisfied with the government's strategy in monetary arrangement, whereas 42% were dissatisfied, thus net satisfaction stands at negative 12 percentage points. With respect to Hong Kong's tax system, 51% viewed it fair, whilst 37% thought it unfair. Last of all, 19% perceived the distribution of wealth in Hong Kong reasonable, as contrast to 67% who regarded it unreasonable.


Commentary

Robert Ting-Yiu Chung, Director of Public Opinion Programme, observed, “Our surveys show that people’s instant reaction to the Budget in the first night was mediocre, with 30% satisfied, 31% dissatisfied, giving a net satisfaction rate of negative 1 percentage point. Satisfaction rating was 53.6 marks. One to two days later, after widespread coverage by the media, satisfaction rate significantly reduces to 23%, dissatisfaction rate also goes up to 41%, net satisfaction rate drops to negative 18 percentage points, while satisfaction rating also goes down to 49.5 marks. This shows people’s response becomes more negative after digesting all information and discussions on the Budget so far, which is poorer than last year but not as bad as the year before. Of course, how people’s reaction will change after knowing even more about the Budget remains to be revealed by our follow-up survey to be conducted weeks later. According to our latest survey, people generally feel that the relief measures suggested by the FS this year are not enough, but they tend to support his injection of money into several funds and programmes, and not paying money to citizens directly. However, there are criticisms that such measures lack concrete planning and undertakings, and is a reflection of the ‘no right no wrong, do less err less’ mentality. Our survey shows that 60% agree to this criticism. Moreover, 51% consider Hong Kong’s tax system to be fair, but 67% consider the distribution of wealth to be unreasonable, and only 30% are satisfied with the government’s fiscal policies.”



Future Releases (Tentative)

  • March 7, 2013 (Thursday) 1pm to 2pm: Ratings of top 10 political groups

  • March 12, 2013 (Tuesday) 1pm to 2pm: Popularity of CE and Principal Officials


| Special Announcements | Abstract | Background | Latest Figures | Commentary | Future Release (Tentative) |
| Detailed Finding (Follow-up survey of the 2013 Financial Budget) |