HKU POP SITE releases an instant poll on the BudgetBack


Press Release on March 1, 2007
 

| Background | Latest Figures | Commentary | News about POP | About HKUPOP |
| Detailed Findings (Instant Poll of the 2007 Financial Budget | Popularity of Henry Tang Ying-yen) |

Background
 

Since 1992, HKUPOP has been conducting Policy Address instant surveys every year. From 1998 onwards, we expanded our instant surveys to cover the Budget Talks. 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.
POP today releases two instant surveys, namely, the Budget instant survey of this press release, and a CE Election forum instant survey in the evening. The former is not sponsored, so it is released one day after the event. The latter is sponsored by a number of organizations, so it will be used and released by the sponsors instantly, before they are uploaded onto the "HKU POP SITE" (http://hkupop.hku.hk) for public consumption 48 hours later. Enquiries welcome, please call 2859-2988.

Latest Figures
 

The findings of the Budget instant 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 at the end of 2006. Herewith the contact information of various surveys:

  Year of survey  Date of survey   Total sample size   Response rate   Sampling error of %* 
  2007  28/2/07   1,018   65.2%   +/-3% 
  2006  22/2/06   1,026   68.3%   +/-3% 
  2005  16/3/05   1,041   65.2%   +/-3% 
  2004  10/3/04   1,023   64.7%   +/-3% 
  2003  5/3/03   1,047   71.4%   +/-3% 
  2002  6/3/02   1,041   59.9%   +/-3% 
  2001  7-8/3/01   502   67.1%   +/-4% 
  2000  8/3/00   856   56.4%   +/-3% 
  1999  3/3/99   1,190   62.1%   +/-3% 
  1998  18/2/98   804   54.7%   +/-4% 
* 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.
 
 

Changes in the popularity figures of Financial Secretary Henry Tang after the announcement of the Budget are summarized as follows:

  Date of survey  6-10/11/06   30/11-6/12/06   9-12/1/07   1-6/2/07   28/2/07   Latest change 
  Sample base  1,013   1,010   1,009   1,020   554-617**   -- 
  Overall response rate  57.8%   59.8%   62.7%   62.5%   65.2%   -- 
  Sampling error of ratings
(at 95% conf. level)*
 +/-1.2   +/-1.2   +/-1.2   +/-1.2   +/-1.4   -- 
  Sampling error of percentages 
(at 95% conf. level)*
  +/-3%    +/-3%   +/-3%   +/-3%   +/-4%   -- 
  Rating of FS Henry Tang  56.5   58.1   57.4   60.8   64.1   +3.3 
  Vote of confidence in FS Henry Tang  53%   54%   55%   63%   62%   -1% 
  Vote of no confidence in FS Henry Tang  16%   15%   17%   13%   6%   -7% 

* 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. Media can state "sampling error of ratings +/-1.4, sampling error of percentages not more than +/-4% at 95% confidence level" when quoting the above figures.
**Starting from 2006, these questions only uses sub-samples of the tracking surveys concerned, the sample size for each question also varies.

The instant survey conducted last night showed that, the latest rating of FS Henry Tang after his Budget Talk was 64.1 marks, with an approval and disapproval rate of 62% and 6% respectively.

With respect to people's satisfaction with this year's Budget, the figures are summarized below:

  Date of survey  Sub-sample base#   Sampling error of percentages*   Appraisal of Budget: Satisfaction rate**   Appraisal of Budget: Half-half   Appraisal of Budget: Dissatisfaction rate ** 
  28/2/07  673   +/-4%   62%   25%   9% 
  22/2/06  577   +/-4%   50%   26%   19% 
  16/3/05  544   +/-4%   48%   29%   11% 
  10/3/04  395   +/-5%   37%   33%   12% 
  5/3/03  495   +/-4%   20%   23%   50% 
  6/3/02  539   +/-4%   47%   23%   17% 
  7-8/3/01  263   +/-6%   57%   25%   13% 
  8/3/00  643   +/-4%   70%   12%   4% 
  3/3/99  598   +/-4%   46%   27%   10% 
  18/2/98  638   +/-4%   55%   20%   7% 

* 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.
** Collapsed from a 5-point scale.
#Those respondents who said they had not heard of the Budget are excluded from the sub-sample. As the sub-sample is smaller, the sampling error increases correspondingly.

After excluding those respondents who said they had not heard of the Budget, this year's instant survey showed that 62% were satisfied with it, 9% were dissatisfied and 25% said "half-half". Because many of the respondents said they had not heard of the Budget during the instant poll, the valid sub-sample of this item was smaller. The sampling error for this question has increased accordingly. With respect to people's specific reactions towards the contents of this year's Budget, relevant findings are summarized below:

  Date of survey  28/2/07
  Sub-sample base  603-609**
  Overall response rate  65.2%
  Sampling error of percentages (at 95% conf. level)*  +/-4%
  The Financial Secretary said that we should focus on three areas, namely consolidating our competitive edge, developing a knowledge-based economy, and helping the disadvantaged. Are you confident that the Government would achieve all these?  Confident   Half-half   Not confident   Don't know/ hard to say   Total 
    41%   29%   27%   4%   100% 
 
  The Financial Secretary today announced tax concessions which included waiving 50% of salaries tax, waiving rates for the first two quarters of the coming year, providing one additional month of payments for CSSA recipients and so on. Do you think these measures are sufficient?  Sufficient   Not sufficient   Don't know/ hard to say   Total
    67%   23%   10%   100% 

* 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.
** Starting from 2006, these questions only uses sub-samples of the tracking surveys concerned, the sample size for each question also varies.

 

Henry Tang said that we should focus on three areas, namely consolidating our competitive edge, developing a knowledge-based economy, and helping the disadvantaged. Among a sub-sample of 603 respondents, 41% had confidence in the Government, 27% showed no confidence and 29% held a neutral stand. Regarding the tax concessions which included waiving 50% of salaries tax, waiving rates for the first two quarters of the coming year, providing one additional month of payments for CSSA recipients and so on, among a sub-sample of 609 respondents, 67% considered such measures to be sufficient, while 23% considered them insufficient. 

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  Sampling error of percentages(at 95% conf. level)*   Satisfaction rate with the government's strategy in monetary arrangement**   Dissatisfaction rate with the government's strategy in monetary arrangement**   Perceived the tax system in Hong Kong to be fair **   Perceived the tax system in Hong Kong to be unfair**   Perceived the distribution of wealth in Hong Kong to be reasonable**   Perceived the distribution of wealth in Hong Kong to be unreasonable** 
  28/2/07  +/-4%   49%   10%   63%   28%   34%   52% 
  22/2/06  +/-4%   36%   15%   55%   34%   32%   55% 
  16/3/05  +/-3%   29%   15%   59%   27%   29%   51% 
  10/3/04  +/-3%   18%   29%   58%   31%   22%   62% 
  5/3/03  +/-3%   12%   45%   51%   33%   19%   60% 
  6/3/02  +/-3%   26%   21%   55%   29%   25%   52% 
  7-8/3/01  +/-4%   45%   14%   --   --   --   -- 
  8/3/00  +/-3%   60%   9%   --   --   --   -- 
  18/2/98  +/-4%   42%   13%   --   --   --   -- 

* 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.
** Collapsed from a 5-point scale.

 

Findings showed that 49% of the respondents were satisfied with the government's strategy in monetary arrangement, whereas 10% were dissatisfied. Meanwhile, 63% of the respondents considered Hong Kong's tax system to be fair, 28% viewed it unfair. As for the distribution of wealth in Hong Kong, 34% perceived the distribution reasonable, whereas 52% considered it unreasonable.


Commentary

Robert Ting-Yiu Chung, Director of Public Opinion Programme, analyzed, "All in all, people's reaction to Henry Tang's fourth Budget is fairly positive. People's satisfaction rate is at the highest of all four, but is still lower than that of Donald Tsang's Budget in 2000. Tang's popularity rating has also increased by 3.3 marks compared to that of early February. On tax concession measures announced in the Budget, 67% of the public regard them as sufficient, and on Tang's proposal to consolidate Hong Kong's competitive edge, to develop a knowledge-based economy, and to help the disadvantaged, most people are positive. Because of the Budget effect, more people than last year are satisfied with the government's fiscal policies, and the fairness of Hong Kong's tax system. However, similar to previous years, most people consider the distribution of wealth in Hong Kong to be unreasonable, which is probably one of the deep conflicts of Hong Kong society."

News about POP

POP's normal practice is to release the results of our regular surveys every Tuesday afternoon via our POP Site, except during public holidays, each time with a forecast of the items to be released in the next 7 days. According to schedule, our next release of regular survey findings will be March 6, 2007, Tuesday, between 1pm to 2pm, when the latest popularity figures of CE Donald Tsang and the HKSAR Government will be released. Then on March 8, Thursday, between 1pm to 2pm, we will release the latest findings of subjective social and rule of law indicators. The above schedule does not include our release of CE election forum instant surveys and election rolling surveys, which will be announced by the sponsors directly.

It is our general practice to answer all questions on the research design of the surveys published in the POP Site as soon as we receive them, but we will not further comment on the findings. We welcome questions for follow-up purpose, please email them to us at <[email protected]>. We will keep such an arrangement under constant review, suggestions most welcome. Please note that everything carried in the POP Site does not represent the stand of the University of Hong Kong. Dr Robert Ting-Yiu Chung, Director of POP, is responsible for everything posted herewith, except for column articles which represent the stand of their authors.

For the whole of last year, we have included in our regular press releases a small educational section for the purpose of sharing our research experience with the readers and the general public, and the subject of our education section today is "About HKUPOP". In the near future, we will keep on stepping up our effort in promoting general civic education to enhance our POP Site accordingly.

About HKUPOP

The development and operation of Budget instant survey

HKUPOP was established in 1991, we began our Policy Address instant surveys in October 1992. In February 1998, we expanded our instant surveys to cover the Budget Talks, and our operation has not been changed since then. By "instant survey", we mean a survey which begins on the same day when the Budget is announced, in order to gauge the immediate reaction of the people. The development of our Budget instant surveys is as follows:

  • Our instant surveys comprise a set of core questions asked every year for repeated measurement, plus another set of ad hoc questions designed to match the content of each year's Budget Talk. Core questions include FS's popularity, people's overall appraisal of the Budget, people's satisfaction with the government's strategy in monetary arrangement as well as other relevant issues.

  • Regarding the sample size, from 1998 to 2000, it was set at over 800. In 2001, the sample size was set at over 500. Since 2002, the sample size is always set at slightly over 1,000.

  • In case we have media sponsorship, our results would be released immediately, even on a real time basis. Otherwise, we generally announce the findings online through our website on the following day. The findings from our Budget instant surveys conducted by 2000 have been published in our newsletter POP Express, and they are available in our POP Site in various formats.

Below is an outline of our operation for the Budget instant survey of 2007:

  • After the HKSAR government announced the date of Budget Talk, we started our planning for the instant survey.

  • About one month ago, we began to keep track of news about the Budget, in order to lay the ground work of questionnaire design.

  • About one week ago, we began our manpower deployment. 

  • On Budget Day, we monitored the entire Budget Talk via the media and the Internet, including subsequent press conferences, and then drafted the questionnaire.

  • Random telephone interviews began at 6pm on the Budget Day, involving nearly 40 interviewers and staff. The interviews finished at 10pm, after collecting 1,018 samples.

  • Data verification and quantitative analyses followed immediately, together with the drafting of the press release.

  • On the following day, the survey findings were verified again, when the content of the POP Site and press release were proof read. The results would be released after everything was complete.

| Background | Latest Figures | Commentary | News about POP | About HKUPOP |
| Detailed Findings (Instant Poll of the 2007 Financial Budget | Popularity of Henry Tang Ying-yen) |