HKU POP releases the third survey on this year’s BudgetBack

 
Press Release on March 21, 2013

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


Special Announcement

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

The Public Opinion Programme (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

POP interviewed 1,023 Hong Kong people from 11 to 18 March by means of a random telephone survey conducted by real interviewers. Over the years, we find people’s receptiveness of the government’s Budget drops after it has been debated for some time. The situation this year is that people’s initial appraisal of the Budget was only mediocre, it then dropped significantly after widespread coverage by the media for a day or two. Two weeks later, dissatisfaction tapered, as reflected by a number of indicators. These include the slight rebound of satisfaction rating from 49.5 to 50.0 marks, the recovery of net satisfaction rate from negative 18 to negative 12 percentage points, and the recovery of satisfaction mean score from 2.7 to 2.8. All figures are, however, significantly poorer than those registered in the instant survey. In terms of specific policies, people remain negative on the relief measures suggested by the FS, and turn from positive to negative on the proposal of government’s injection into several funds and programmes, while the percentage of those agreeing to no direct grant to citizens gets significantly smaller. Our survey also shows that people continue to agree with the criticisms over the lack of concrete planning and undertakings of such measures, which is a reflection of ‘no right no wrong, do less err less’ mentality. Finally, people continue to consider Hong Kong’s tax system fair, but consider the distribution of wealth unreasonable. People’s satisfaction with the government’s fiscal policies remains negative, with a net satisfaction of negative 11 percentage points. The maximum sampling error of all percentages is +/-3 percentage points at 95% confidence level, while the sampling error of rating figure is +/-1.3, and that of net values needs another calculation. The response rate of the survey is 70%.


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 overall sample size of this survey is 1,023 successful interviews, not 1,023 x 69.9% response rate. In the past, many media made this mistake.
[3] The maximum sampling error of all percentages is +/-3 percentage points at 95% confidence level, while the sampling error 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 rating not more than +/-1.3, that of percentages not more than +/-3% and net values not more than +/-5% 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

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. In 2008, we revised our research design by splitting up our instant survey into two rounds, while our follow-up survey operation weeks later remains intact, to become the third survey under our new design. 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. The third survey released today is the first of its type. We believe this is a better way to study public opinion on these issues: measuring people's instant reaction first, and then repeat these measurements later to find out people's more matured reaction.

 

For this year’s Budget, in our first survey, we measured people’s overall appraisal of the Budget, their rating of the Budget, and the Financial Secretary’s popularity. Our results were released on February 28. For 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. Our results were released on March 5 respectively. Today we are releasing the results of our third and last survey.




Latest Figures

The findings of the 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 2012 year-end. Herewith the contact information of various surveys:

 

Year of survey

Date of survey

Sample base

Overall response rate

Sampling error of percentages [6]

2013 third survey

11-18/3/2013

1,023

69.9%

+/-3%

2013 second survey

28/2-1/3/2013

520

66.0%

+/-4%

2013 instant survey

27/2/2013

1,024

67.3%

+/-3%

[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.

As different questions involve different sub-samples, the sample errors will vary accordingly. The table below briefly shows the relationship between sampling errors and sample size for the readers to capture the corresponding changes:

 

                   

Sample size
(total sample or sub-sample)

Sampling error of percentages[7]
(maximum values)

Sample size
(total sample or sub-sample)

Sampling error of percentages[7]
(maximum values)

1,300

+/- 2.8 %

1,350

 +/- 2.7 %

1,200

+/- 2.9 %

1,250

 +/- 2.8 %

1,100

+/- 3.0 %

1,150

 +/- 3.0 %

1,000

+/- 3.2 %

1,050

 +/- 3.1 %

900

+/- 3.3 %

950

 +/- 3.2 %

800

+/- 3.5 %

850

 +/- 3.4 %

700

+/- 3.8 %

750

 +/- 3.7 %

600

+/- 4.1 %

650

 +/- 3.9 %

500

+/- 4.5 %

550

 +/- 4.3 %

400

+/- 5.0 %

450

 +/- 4.7 %

[7] Based on 95% confidence interval.

Results of the Budget follow-up poll, together with the first two surveys, are tabulated below:

 

Date of survey

Instant survey

Second survey

Third survey

Latest Change

27/2/2013

28/2-1/3/2013

11-18/3/2013

--

Overall response rate

67.3%

66.0%

69.9%

--

Sub sample size for each qn/ Finding

Base

Finding

Base

Finding

Base

Finding/Error[8]

--

Satisfaction rating of Budget (0 to 100 marks)

813[9]

53.6

520

49.5[12]

1,023

50.0+/-1.3

+0.5

Appraisal of Budget: Satisfaction rate [10]

813[9]

30%

520

23%[12]

1,023

21+/-3%

-2%

Appraisal of Budget: Dissatisfaction rate [10]

813[9]

31%

520

41%[12]

1,023

33+/-3%

-8%[12]

Net satisfaction rate

-1+/-5%

-18+/-7%[12]

-12+/-5%

+6%[12]

Mean value[10]

2.9+/-0.1
(Base=793)

2.7+/-0.1[12]
(Base=497)

2.8+/-0.1
(Base=920)

+0.1

Measures suggested by the Financial Secretary to relieve people’s stress brought by the economic downturn are enough to relieve people’s stress

--

--

520

34%

1,023

35+/-3%

+1%

Measures suggested by the Financial Secretary to relieve people’s stress brought by the economic downturn are not enough to relieve people’s stress

--

--

520

58%

1,023

56+/-3%

-2%

Satisfied with the Financial Secretary’s suggestion to inject into several funds and programmes

--

--

520

41%

1,023

29+/-3%

-12%[12]

Dissatisfied with the Financial Secretary’s suggestion to inject into several funds and programmes

--

--

520

31%

1,023

42+/-3%

+11%[12]

Satisfied with the Financial Secretary not granting $6,000 to each citizen aged 18 or above this year

--

--

520

48%

1,023

42+/-3%

-6%[12]

Dissatisfied with the Financial Secretary not granting $6,000 to each citizen aged 18 or above this year

--

--

520

32%

1,023

34+/-3%

+2%

Agree the budget plan this year was “no right no wrong, do less err less”

--

--

520

60%

1,023

55+/-3%

-5%[12]

Disagree the budget plan this year was “no right no wrong, do less err less”

--

--

520

21%

1,023

21+/-3%

--

Satisfied with the government’s strategy in monetary arrangement [10]

--

--

520

30%

1,023

27+/-3%

-3%

Dissatisfied with the government’s strategy in monetary arrangement [10]

--

--

520

42%

1,023

38+/-3%

-4%[12]

Net satisfaction rate

--

-12+/-7%

-11+/-5%

+1%

Mean value[10]

--

2.8+/-0.1
(Base=495)

2.8+/-0.1
(Base=967)

--

Perceived the tax system in Hong Kong to be fair [11]

--

--

520

51%

1,023

54+/-3%

+3%

Perceived the tax system in Hong Kong to be unfair [11]

--

--

520

37%

1,023

34+/-3%

-3%

Perceived the distribution of wealth in Hong Kong to be reasonable [11]

--

--

520

19%

1,023

20+/-3%

+1%

Perceived the distribution of wealth in Hong Kong to be unreasonable [11]

--

--

520

67%

1,023

67+/-3%

--

[8] 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. Sampling errors of ratings are calculated according to the distribution of the scores collected. Media can state "sampling error of various ratings not more than +/-1.3, that of percentages not more than +/-3% and net values not more than +/-5% at 95% confidence level" when quoting the above figures. The error margin of previous survey can be found at the POP Site.
[9] Excluding respondents who had not heard of/were not clear about the Budget.
[10] 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.
[11] Collapsed from a 4-point scale.
[12] 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.


The third survey conducted in mid-March revealed that, 21% of the respondents were satisfied with the Budget and 33% were dissatisfied, thus net satisfaction stands at negative 12 percentage points. The mean score is 2.8 marks, meaning in between “quite dissatisfied” and “half-half”. The average rating registered for the Budget was 50.0 marks. 27% were satisfied with the government's strategy in monetary arrangement, whereas 38% were dissatisfied, thus net satisfaction stands at negative 11 percentage points. The mean score is 2.8 marks, meaning in between “quite dissatisfied” and “half-half”.

 

On the other hand, 35% of the respondents said measures suggested by the Financial Secretary to relieve people’s stress brought by the economic downturn were enough to relieve people’s stress, 56% said they were not enough. Financial Secretary suggested to inject into several funds and programmes, and 29% were satisfied with this arrangement, 42% were dissatisfied. 42% of the respondents were satisfied with the Financial Secretary not granting $6,000 to each citizen aged 18 or above this year and 34% were dissatisfied. Regarding the saying that the budget plan this year was “no right no wrong, do less err less”, 55% agreed with this saying whereas 21% disagreed.

 

With respect to Hong Kong’s tax system, 54% considered it fair, whilst 34% thought the opposite. Last of all, 20% 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, “Over the years, we find people’s receptiveness of the government’s Budget drops after it has been debated for some time. The situation this year is that people’s initial appraisal of the Budget was only mediocre, it then dropped significantly after widespread coverage by the media for a day or two. Two weeks later, dissatisfaction tapered, as reflected by a number of indicators. These include the slight rebound of satisfaction rating from 49.5 to 50.0 marks, the recovery of net satisfaction rate from negative 18 to negative 12 percentage points, and the recovery of satisfaction mean score from 2.7 to 2.8. All figures are, however, significantly poorer than those registered in the instant survey. In terms of specific policies, people remain negative on the relief measures suggested by the FS, and turn from positive to negative on the proposal of government’s injection into several funds and programmes, while the percentage of those agreeing to no direct grant to citizens gets significantly smaller. Our survey also shows that people continue to agree with the criticisms over the lack of concrete planning and undertakings of such measures, which is a reflection of ‘no right no wrong, do less err less’ mentality. Finally, people continue to consider Hong Kong’s tax system fair, but consider the distribution of wealth unreasonable. People’s satisfaction with the government’s fiscal policies remains negative, with a net satisfaction of negative 11 percentage points.”




Future Release (Tentative)
  • March 26, 2013 (Tuesday) 1pm to 2pm: Latest trust and confidence indicators


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