HKU POP releases the first Budget follow-up surveyBack

 

Press Release on February 28, 2017

| Detailed Findings (Budget Feature Page) |

Abstract


People’s instant reaction to this year’s Budget in the first night can be considered positive, with a net satisfaction of positive 15 percentage points. As for the rating of the Budget, this year’s instant survey gives a rating of 55.7 marks. After one to two days’ media coverage, the reaction turned negative significantly. The latest satisfaction rate stands at 26%, dissatisfaction rate 27%, net satisfaction rate goes down significantly by 15 percentage points to zero, while satisfaction rating also plunged by 3.1 marks to 52.6. This shows people’s response has become negative after digesting some information and discussions on the Budget. How people’s reaction will change after knowing even more about the Budget remains to be revealed by our second follow-up survey to be conducted weeks later. According to our latest survey, 27% support the Financial Secretary’s suggestions in relief measures with the total amount of “giveaway” reduced by 10 percent from that of last year, while 52% oppose to this approach. At the same time, 24% of the respondents believe the measures of the Budget can serve the three objectives of public finance pointed out by the Financial Secretary, while 55% think the opposite. In terms of macroscopic appraisal of Hong Kong’s economic condition, 58% consider Hong Kong’s tax system fair, but 68% consider the distribution of wealth unreasonable. Meanwhile, 32% 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 +/-4 percentage points at 95% confidence level, while the sampling error of rating figures is +/-2.0, and net values need 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 sample size of this survey is 506 successful interviews, not 506 x 70.4% 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 +/-2.0 and sampling error of percentages not more than +/-4%, and net values not more than +/-8% at 95% confidence level”.

[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


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, POP 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


POP today releases the findings of the first Budget follow-up survey. 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 2016 mid-year and the educational attainment (highest level attended) distribution collected in the 2011 Census. Herewith the contact information of various surveys:

Year of survey

Date of survey

Total sample size

Response rate

Sampling error of %[6]

2017 First Follow-up

23-24/2/2017

5 06

70.4%

+/-4%

2017 Instant

22/2/2017

559

64.4%

+/-4%

2016 First Follow-up

25-26/2/2016

514

68.6%

+/-4%

2016 Instant

24/2/2016

528

63.6%

+/-4%

2015 First Follow-up

26-27/2/2015

520

66.5%

+/-4%

2015 Instant

25/2/2015

610

67.4%

+/-4%

2014 First Follow-up

27-28/2/2014

516

67.6%

+/-4%

2014 Instant

26/2/2014

1,005

62.7%

+/-3%

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 2015 to 2017 together with their corresponding instant polls are tabulated below:

2017

Instant survey

First follow-up survey[7]

Latest change

Date of survey

22/2/2017

23-24/2/2017

--

Sample base

502[8]

506

--

Overall response rate

64.4%

70.4%

--

Appraisal of Budget: Satisfaction rate[9]

33%

26+/-4%

-7%[10]

Appraisal of Budget: Dissatisfaction rate[9]

18%

27+/-4%

+9% [10]

Net satisfaction rate

15%

0+/-6%

-15%[10]

Mean value[9]

3.2

(Base=412)

2.9+/-0.1

(Base= 407 )

-0.3 [10]

Satisfaction rating of Budget (0 to 100 marks)

55.7

52.6+/-2.0

-3.1 [10]

2016

Instant survey

First follow-up survey[7]

Latest change

Date of survey

24/2/2016

25-26/2/2016

--

Sample base

528[11]

514

--

Overall response rate

63.6%

68.6%

--

Appraisal of Budget: Satisfaction rate[9]

36%

41%

+5%[10]

Appraisal of Budget: Dissatisfaction rate[9]

20%

17%

-3%

Net satisfaction rate

17%

24%

+7%[10]

Mean value[9]

3.2

(Base=432)

3.3

(Base=449)

+0.1

Satisfaction rating of Budget (0 to 100 marks)

57.2

60.5

+3.3[10]

2015

Instant survey

First follow-up survey[7]

Latest change

Date of survey

25/2/2015

2 6 -2 7 /2/201 5

--

Sample base

610[12]

520

--

Overall response rate

67.4%

66.5%

--

Appraisal of Budget: Satisfaction rate[9]

45%

44%

-1%

Appraisal of Budget: Dissatisfaction rate[9]

18%

20%

+2%

Net satisfaction rate

28%

24%

-4%

Mean value[9]

3.3

(Base=483)

3.3

(Base=493)

--

Satisfaction rating of Budget (0 to 100 marks)

60.2

59.7

-0.5

[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] Excluding respondents who said they had not heard of the Budget, or were not clear about the Budget content. The sub-sample size was 502.

[9] 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.

[10] Such changes have gone beyond the sampling errors at the 95% confidence level under the same weighting method, 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.
[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 500.

[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 529.


Our first Budget follow-up survey reveals that 26% of the respondents were satisfied with the Budget and 27% were dissatisfied, thus net satisfaction stands at 0 percentage point. The mean score is 2.9, meaning close to “half-half”. The average rating registered for the Budget was 52.6 marks. With respect to people’s specific reactions towards the contents of this year’s Budget, relevant findings are summarized below:

Finding and error[13]

Support

Half-half

Oppose

Don’t know /

hard to say

Total

Net Support

The government surplus and reserve have registered historical high but the total amount of “give away” from the relief measures suggested by the Financial Secretary have decreased by 10 percent as compared to last year. To what extent do you support or oppose to this approach?

27+/-4%

13+/-3%

52+/-4%

7+/-2%

100%

-25+/-8%

[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.


With regards to the government surplus and reserves at a historical high but the total amount of “giveaway” from the relief measures suggested by the Financial Secretary have decreased by 10 percent compared to last year, 27% supported this approach while 52% opposed, with a net support rate of negative 25 percentage points.

Finding and error[14]

Can

Cannot

Don’t know /

hard to say

Total

The Financial Secretary pointed out: “public finance should serve three objectives: (1) appropriately proactive in developing the economy and improving people’s livelihood; (2) forward-looking and invest continuously for the future and enhance competitiveness; and (3) make good use of financial resources to build a fair and just society.” To what extent." Do you think the suggestions in Budget can serve these three objectives?

24+/-4%

55+/-4%

21+/-4%

100%

[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.


Results showed that, 24% of the respondents thought that the Budget can serve the three objectives mentioned by the Financial Secretary, namely, (1) appropriately proactive in developing the economy and improving people’s livelihood; (2) forward-looking and invest continuously for the future and enhance competitiveness; and (3) make good use of financial resources to build a fair and just society. Meanwhile, 55% thought the opposite.

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

Finding and error[15]

Satisfied with the government’s strategy in monetary arrangement [16]

Dissatisfied with the government’s strategy in monetary arrangement [16]

Net satisfaction rate

Mean value[16]

Perceived the tax system in Hong Kong to be fair [17]

Perceived the tax system in Hong Kong to be unfair [17]

Perceived the distribution of wealth in Hong Kong to be reasonable [17]

Perceived the distribution of wealth in Hong Kong to be unreasonable[17]

23-24/2/2017

506

32 [18] +/-4%

32+/-4%

0+/-7%

2.9+/-0.1
(Base=454)

58+/-4%

28+/-4%

20 [18] +/-4%

68 [18] +/-4%

25-26/2/2016

514

37+/-4%

34+/-4%

3+/-7%

2.9+/-0.1

(Base=457)

58+/-4%

28+/-4%

30+/-4%

57+/-4%

26-27/2/2015

520

36[18]+/-4%

31[18]+/-4%

5[18]+/-7%

3.0[18]+/-0.1

(Base=489)

62[18]+/-4%

28[18]+/-4%

30[18]+/-4%

56[18]+/-4%

27-28/2/2014

516

27+/-4%

38+/-4%

-11+/-7%

2.8+/-0.1

(Base=470)

52+/-4%

35+/-4%

24[18]+/-4%

64+/-4%

28/2-1/3/2013

520

30+/-4%

42+/-4%

-12+/-7%

2.8+/-0.1

(Base=495)

51[18]+/-4%

37[18]+/-4%

19+/-3%

67+/-4%

2-3/2/2012

504

33[18]+/-4%

43[18]+/-4%

-10[18]+/-8%

2.8[18]+/-0.1

(Base=486)

56[18]+/-4%

32[18]+/-4%

20+/-4%

70+/-4%

24-25/2/2011

515

21[18]+/-4%

52[18]+/-4%

-31[18]+/-7%

2.5[18]+/-0.1

(Base=489)

51[18]+/-4%

39[18]+/-4%

16[18]+/-3%

74[18]+/-4%

25-27/2/2010

517

34+/-4%

30+/-4%

4[18]+/-7%

3.0+/-0.1

(Base=469)

60+/-4%

31+/-4%

27+/-4%

62+/-4%

26/2/2009

525

30[18]+/-4%

34[18]+/-4%

-4[18]+/-7%

2.9[18]+/-0.1

(Base=497)

64+/-4%

29[18]+/-4%

29[18]+/-4%

62[18]+/-4%

28/2/2008

525

60[18]+/-4%

12+/-3%

48[18]+/-6%

3.6+/-0.1

(Base=497)

67+/-4%

22[18]+/-4%

42[18]+/-4%

45[18]+/-4%

28/2/2007

1,018

49[18]+/-3%

10[18]+/-2%

39[18]+/-4%

3.5[18]+/-0.1

(Base=918)

63[18]+/-3%

28[18]+/-3%

34+/-3%

52+/-3%

22/2/2006

1,026

36[18]+/-3%

15+/-2%

21[18]+/-4%

3.3+/-0.1

(Base=843)

55[18]+/-3%

34[18]+/-3%

32+/-3%

55[18]+/-3%

16/3/2005

1,041

29[18]+/-3%

15[18]+/-2%

14[18]+/-4%

3.2[18]+/-0.1

(Base=800)

59+/-3%

27[18]+/-3%

29[18]+/-3%

51[18]+/-3%

10/3/2004

1,023

18[18]+/-2%

29[18]+/-3%

-12[18]+/-4%

2.8[18]+/-0.1

(Base=740)

58[18]+/-3%

31+/-3%

22+/-3%

62+/-3%

5/3/2003

1,047

12[18]+/-2%

45[18]+/-3%

-33[18]+/-4%

2.4[18]+/-0.1

(Base=776)

51[18]+/-3%

33[18]+/-3%

19[18]+/-2%

60[18]+/-3%

6/3/2002

1,041

26[18]+/-3%

21[18]+/-3%

5[18]+/-4%

3.0[18]+/-0.1

(Base=715)

55+/-3%

29+/-3%

25+/-3%

52+/-3%

7-8/3/2001

502

45[18]+/-5%

14[18]+/-3%

32[18]+/-7%

3.4[18]+/-0.1

(Base=333)

--

--

--

--

8/3/2000

856

60[18]+/-4%

9[18]+/-2%

51[18]+/-5%

3.6[18]+/-0.1

(Base=628)

--

--

--

--

18/2/1998

804

42+/-3%

13+/-2%

29+/-5%

3.4+/-0.1

(Base=599)

--

--

--

--

[15] 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.

[16] 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.

[17] Collapsed from a 4-point scale.

[18] Such changes have gone beyond the sampling errors at the 95% confidence level under the same weighting method, 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.


Latest results revealed that, 32% were satisfied with the government’s strategy in monetary arrangement, whereas 32% were dissatisfied, thus net satisfaction stands at 0 percentage point, and mean value at 2.9, meaning close to “half-half”. With respect to Hong Kong’s tax system, 58% considered it fair, whilst 28% thought it was unfair. Last of all, 20% perceived the distribution of wealth in Hong Kong reasonable, as contrast to 68% who regarded it unreasonable.

Commentary

Frank Wai-Kin Lee, Research Manager of Public Opinion Programme, observed, “Our survey shows that people’s instant reaction to this year’s Budget in the first night can be considered positive, with a net satisfaction of positive 15 percentage points. As for the rating of the Budget, this year’s instant survey gives a rating of 55.7 marks. After one to two days’ media coverage, the reaction turned negative significantly. The latest satisfaction rate stands at 26%, dissatisfaction rate 27%, net satisfaction rate goes down significantly by 15 percentage points to zero, while satisfaction rating also plunged by 3.1 marks to 52.6. This shows people’s response has become negative after digesting some information and discussions on the Budget. How people’s reaction will change after knowing even more about the Budget remains to be revealed by our second follow-up survey to be conducted weeks later. According to our latest survey, 27% support the Financial Secretary’s suggestions in relief measures with the total amount of “giveaway” reduced by 10 percent from that of last year, while 52% oppose to this approach. At the same time, 24% of the respondents believe the measures of the Budget can serve the three objectives of public finance pointed out by the Financial Secretary, while 55% think the opposite. In terms of macroscopic appraisal of Hong Kong’s economic condition, 58% consider Hong Kong’s tax system fair, but 68% consider the distribution of wealth unreasonable. Meanwhile, 32% each are satisfied and dissatisfied with the government’s fiscal policies, giving a net satisfaction of zero.

Future Releases (Tentative)

  • March 1, 2017 (Wednesday) 1pm to 2pm: Popularity of CE and HKSAR Government
  • March 7, 2017 (Tuesday) 1pm to 2pm: Taiwan issues