HKU POP releases the second Budget follow-up surveyBack

 
Press Release on March 26, 2015

| Special Announcement| Abstract | Background | Latest Figures | Commentary | Future Release (Tentative) |
| Detailed Finding (Second follow-up survey of the 2015 Financial Budget) |


Special Announcement

To facilitate academic study and rational discussion, Public Opinion Programme (POP) at The University of Hong Kong has already released for public examination some time ago via the “HKU POP Site” (http://hkupop.hku.hk) the raw data of all 68 regular rating surveys of CE CY Leung, as well as the 181 regular rating surveys of former CE Donald Tsang and 239 regular rating surveys of former CE CH Tung, along with related demographics of respondents. Please follow normal academic standards when using or citing such data.

 


Abstract

POP interviewed 1,014 Hong Kong people from 16 to 19 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 in our follow-up surveys after it has been debated for some time. The situation this year is that people’s initial appraisal of the Budget was rather positive, its overall satisfaction even registered a record high since 2010. People’s satisfaction did not change much after widespread coverage by the media for a day or two. However, three weeks later, satisfaction drops significantly. Indicators include the big drop of satisfaction rating from 59.7 to 54.7 marks, and the drop in net satisfaction rate from positive 24 to positive 6 percentage points. In terms of specific policies, opinions are split on whether the relief measures suggested by the FS are enough or not, but people continue to think his suggestion to implement support measures to industries affected by the Occupy Movement are enough, agree that the budget plan mainly benefits the middle class, and that the proposals in the Budget cannot help to maintain economic vibrancy and preserve employment. Finally, people continue to consider Hong Kong’s tax system as fair, but the distribution of wealth unreasonable, while 34% each are satisfied and dissatisfied with the government’s fiscal policies, giving a net satisfaction of zero. The maximum sampling error of all percentages is +/-3 percentage points at 95% confidence level, while the sampling error of rating figure is +/-1.4, and that of net values needs another calculation. The response rate of the survey is 69%.


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 1,014 successful interviews, not 1,014 x 69.5% 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 +/-1.4, that of percentages not more than +/-3% and net values not more than +/-5% at 95% confidence level”. Because POP introduced “rim weighting” in 2014, during the transition period, whether changes in various figures are beyond sampling errors are based on tests using the same weighting methods. That is, to test whether the first set of figures collected in 2014 is significantly different from that of the previous survey, both sets of data are rim weighted before testing, instead of using simple computation of the published figures.
[4] Because of sampling errors in conducting the survey(s) and the rounding procedures in processing the data, the figures cannot be too precise, and the totals may not be completely accurate. Therefore, when quoting percentages of the survey(s), journalists should refrain from reporting decimal places, but when quoting the rating figures, one decimal place can be used.
[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 surveys. There is no change to our operation this year.

 

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 26. For our first Budget follow up survey, we focused 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 3 respectively. Today we are releasing the results of our second Budget follow up and it is the last survey.



Latest Figures

POP today releases the findings of the Budget follow-up poll. From 2014, POP enhanced the previous simple weighting method based on age and gender distribution to “rim weighting” based on age, gender and education (highest level attended) distribution. The latest figures released today have been rim-weighted according to provisional figures obtained from the Census and Statistics Department regarding the gender-age distribution of the Hong Kong population in 2014 year-end and the educational attainment (highest level attended) distribution collected in the 2011 Census. Herewith the contact information of various surveys:

 

Round of survey

Date of survey

Sample base

Overall response rate

Sampling error of percentages [6]

2014 second follow up survey

16-19/3/2015

1,014

69.5%

+/-3%

2014 first follow up survey

26-27/2/2015

520

66.5%

+/-4%

2014 instant survey

25/2/2015

610

67.4%

+/-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.


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 previous two surveys, are tabulated below:

 

Date of survey

Instant survey

First follow up survey

Second follow up survey

Latest Change

25/2/2015

26-27/2/2015

16-19/3/2015

--

Overall response rate

67.4%

66.5%

69.5%

--

Sub sample size for each qn/ Finding

Base

Finding

Base

Finding

Base

Finding/Error[8]

--

Satisfaction rating of Budget (0 to 100 marks)

529[9]

60.2

520

59.7

1,014

54.7+/-1.4

-5.0[12]

Appraisal of Budget: Satisfaction rate [10]

529[9]

45%

520

44%

1,014

37+/-3%

-7%[12]

Appraisal of Budget: Dissatisfaction rate [10]

529[9]

18%

520

20%

1,014

31+/-3%

+11%[12]

Net satisfaction rate

28%

24%

6+/-5%

-18%[12]

Mean value[10]

3.3
(Base=483)

3.3
(Base=493)

3.0+/-0.1
(Base=977)

-0.3[12]

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

--

--

520

54%

1,014

45+/-3%

-9%[12]

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

--

--

520

41%

1,014

47+/-3%

+6%[12]

Short-term support measures suggested by the Financial Secretary to industries affected by the Occupy Movement, including waiving six months’ license fees for tourism industry, restaurants and hawkers, etc., and waving vehicle examination fee once for some commercial vehicles, are enough.

--

--

520

63%

1,014

58+/-3%

-5%[12]

Short-term support measures suggested by the Financial Secretary to industries affected by the Occupy Movement, including waiving six months’ license fees for tourism industry, restaurants and hawkers, etc., and waving vehicle examination fee once for some commercial vehicles, are not enough.

--

--

520

22%

1,014

26+/-3%

+4%[12]

With respect to the saying by FS that external trade performance will be affected by a host of uncertainties this year, the proposals in the Budget can help to maintain economic vibrancy and preserve employment.

--

--

520

40%

1,014

33+/-3%

-7%[12]

With respect to the saying by FS that external trade performance will be affected by a host of uncertainties this year, the proposals in the Budget cannot help to maintain economic vibrancy and preserve employment.

--

--

520

40%

1,014

46+/-3%

+6%[12]

Agree with the saying that the budget plan mainly benefits the middle class

--

--

520

50%

1,014

38+/-3%

-12%[12]

Disagree with the saying that the budget plan mainly benefits the middle class

--

--

520

25%

1,014

30+/-3%

+5%[12]

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

--

--

520

36%

1,014

34+/-3%

-2%

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

--

--

520

31%

1,014

34+/-3%

+3%

Net satisfaction rate

--

5%

0+/-5%

-5%

Mean value[10]

--

3.0
(Base=489)

2.9+/-0.1
(Base=943)

-0.1

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

--

--

520

62%

1,014

54+/-3%

-8%[12]

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

--

--

520

28%

1,014

35+/-3%

+7%[12]

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

--

--

520

30%

1,014

25+/-3%

-5%[12]

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

--

--

520

56%

1,014

61+/-3%

+5%[12]

[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 +/-1.4, 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 second follow up survey conducted in mid-March revealed that, 37% of the respondents were satisfied with the Budget and 31% were dissatisfied, thus net satisfaction stands at positive 6 percentage points. The mean score is 3.0 marks, meaning close to “half-half”. The average rating registered for the Budget was 54.7 marks. 34% were satisfied with the government's strategy in monetary arrangement, whereas 34% were also dissatisfied, thus net satisfaction stands at zero. The mean score is 2.9 marks, meaning close to “half-half”.

 

On the other hand, 45% of the respondents thought that the relief measures suggested by the Financial Secretary are enough, 47% thought the opposite. Meanwhile, Financial Secretary suggested to provide short-term support measures to industries affected by the Occupy Movement, 58% thought these measures are enough, 26% thought the opposite. According to the Financial Secretary, our external trade performance will be affected by a host of uncertainties this year and we shall need to rely on domestic demand to maintain economic vibrancy and preserve employment, 33% thought the measures proposed in the Budget can help to maintain economic vibrancy and preserve employment, whereas 46% thought the opposite. Besides, 38% of the respondents agreed to the saying that the budget plan mainly benefits the middle class, 30% disagreed to it.

 

With respect to Hong Kong’s tax system, 54% considered it fair, whilst 35% thought the opposite. Last of all, 25% perceived the distribution of wealth in Hong Kong reasonable, as contrast to 61% who regarded it unreasonable.



Commentary

Frank Lee, Research Manager of Public Opinion Programme, observed, “Over the years, we find people’s receptiveness of the government’s Budget drops in our follow-up surveys after it has been debated for some time. The situation this year is that people’s initial appraisal of the Budget was rather positive, its overall satisfaction even registered a record high since 2010. People’s satisfaction did not change much after widespread coverage by the media for a day or two. However, three weeks later, satisfaction drops significantly. Indicators include the big drop of satisfaction rating from 59.7 to 54.7 marks, and the drop in net satisfaction rate from positive 24 to positive 6 percentage points. In terms of specific policies, opinions are split on whether the relief measures suggested by the FS are enough or not, but people continue to think his suggestion to implement support measures to industries affected by the Occupy Movement are enough, agree that the budget plan mainly benefits the middle class, and that the proposals in the Budget cannot help to maintain economic vibrancy and preserve employment. Finally, people continue to consider Hong Kong’s tax system as fair, but the distribution of wealth unreasonable, while 34% each are satisfied and dissatisfied with the government’s fiscal policies, giving a net satisfaction of zero.”



Future Release (Tentative)
  • March 31, 2015 (Tuesday) 1pm to 2pm: Popularity of CE and HKSAR Government


| Special Announcement| Abstract | Background | Latest Figures | Commentary | Future Release (Tentative) |
| Detailed Finding (Second follow-up survey of the 2015 Financial Budget) |