HKU POP releases the Budget second follow-up surveyBack

 

Press Release on March 21, 2017

| Detailed Findings (Budget Feature Page) |

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 118 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 1,018 Hong Kong people from 11 to 15 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 positive, with a net satisfaction of positive 15 percentage points. After one to two days’ media widespread coverage, the reaction turned negative significantly, net satisfaction rate went down sharply to zero. Three weeks later, it continues to drop slightly to negative 1 percentage point. Satisfaction rating also drops from 55.7 marks at the beginning to 52.6, then again significantly to 51.0 marks in this survey. In terms of specific policies, 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 having decreased by 10 percent compared to last year, 30% supported this approach while 51% opposed. Also, 24% of the respondents think that the Budget can serve the three objectives mentioned by the Financial Secretary, 57% think the opposite. Finally, people continue to consider Hong Kong’s tax system as fair, but the distribution of wealth unreasonable. Meanwhile, 34% are satisfied with the government’s fiscal policies, 39% are dissatisfied, giving a net satisfaction of negative 5 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 +/-1.4, and that of net values needs another calculation. The response rate of the survey is 71%.

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 1,018 successful interviews, not 1,018 x 71.3% 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”.
[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 23. 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 February 28 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 2016 mid-year 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]

2016 second follow up survey

11-15/3/2017

1,018

71.3%

+/-3%

2016 first follow up survey

23-24/2/2017

506

70.4%

+/-4%

2016 instant survey

22/2/2017

559

64.4%

+/-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.


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

22/2/2017

23-24/2/2017

11-15/3/201 7

--

Overall response rate

64.4%

70.4%

71.3%

--

Sub sample size for each qn/ Finding

Base

Finding

Base

Finding

Base

Finding/Error[7]

--

Satisfaction rating of Budget (0 to 100 marks)

502[8]

55.7

506

52.6[11]

1,018

51.0+/-1.4

-1.6[11]

Appraisal of Budget: Satisfaction rate [9]

502[8]

33%

506

26%[11]

1,018

31+/-3%

+5%[11]

Appraisal of Budget: Dissatisfaction rate [9]

502[8]

18%

506

27%[11]

1,018

32+/-3%

+5%[11]

Net satisfaction rate

15%

0%[11]

-1+/-5%

-1%

Mean value[9]

3.2

(Base=412)

2.9[11]

(Base=407)

2.9+/-0.1

(Base=905)

--

Agree with the approach that 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.

--

--

506

27%

1,018

30+/-3%

+3%

Disagree with the approach that 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.

--

--

506

52%

1,018

51+/-3%

-1%

Think that the suggestions in Budget can serve the 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.”

--

--

506

24%

1,018

24+/-3%

--

Think that the suggestions in Budget can not serve the 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.”

--

--

506

55%

1,018

57+/-3%

+2%

Satisfied with the government’s strategy in monetary arrangement [9]

--

--

506

32%

1,018

34+/-3%

+2%

Dissatisfied with the government’s strategy in monetary arrangement [9]

--

--

506

32%

1,018

39+/-3%

+7% [11]

Net satisfaction rate

--

0%

-5+/-5%

-5%

Mean value[9]

--

2.9

(Base=454)

2.8+/-0.1

(Base=947)

-0.1

Perceived the tax system in Hong Kong to be fair [10]

--

--

506

58%

1,018

54+/-3%

-4% [11]

Perceived the tax system in Hong Kong to be unfair [10]

--

--

506

28%

1,018

34+/-3%

+6% [11]

Perceived the distribution of wealth in Hong Kong to be reasonable [10]

--

--

506

20%

1,018

24+/-3%

+4% [11]

Perceived the distribution of wealth in Hong Kong to be unreasonable [10]

--

--

506

68%

1,018

65+/-3%

-3%

[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. 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.
[8] Excluding respondents who had not heard of/were not clear about the Budget.

[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] Collapsed from a 4-point scale.

[11] 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.


The second follow up survey conducted in mid-March revealed that, 31% of the respondents were satisfied with the Budget and 32% were dissatisfied, thus net satisfaction stands at negative 1 percentage point. The mean score is 2.9 marks, meaning close to “half-half”. The average rating registered for the Budget was 51.0 marks. Meanwhile, 34% were satisfied with the government's strategy in monetary arrangement, whereas 39% were dissatisfied, thus net satisfaction stands at negative 5 percentage points. The mean score is 2.8 marks, meaning close to “half-half” in general.

On the other hand, 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, 30% supported this approach while 51% opposed. Also, 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, 57% thought the opposite.

With respect to Hong Kong’s tax system, 54% considered it fair, whilst 34% thought the opposite. Last of all, 24% perceived the distribution of wealth in Hong Kong reasonable, as contrast to 65% 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 positive, with a net satisfaction of positive 15 percentage points. After one to two days’ media widespread coverage, the reaction turned negative significantly, net satisfaction rate went down sharply to zero. Three weeks later, it continues to drop slightly to negative 1 percentage point. Satisfaction rating also drops from 55.7 marks at the beginning to 52.6, then again significantly to 51.0 marks in this survey. In terms of specific policies, 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 having decreased by 10 percent compared to last year, 30% supported this approach while 51% opposed. Also, 24% of the respondents think that the Budget can serve the three objectives mentioned by the Financial Secretary, 57% think the opposite. Finally, people continue to consider Hong Kong’s tax system as fair, but the distribution of wealth unreasonable. Meanwhile, 34% are satisfied with the government’s fiscal policies, 39% are dissatisfied, giving a net satisfaction of negative 5 percentage points.”

Future Release (Tentative)

  • March 28, 2017 (Tuesday) 1pm to 2pm: Popularity of CE and HKSAR Government