HKU POP SITE releases the results of the Budget follow-up surveyBack


Press Release on March 27, 2007
 

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Latest Figures
 

The Public Opinion Programme (POP) at the University of Hong Kong today releases on schedule via the "HKU POP SITE" (http://hkupop.hku.hk) the results of the Budget follow-up survey. For the past many years, POP has conducted instant polls after the head of the government delivered his Policy Address, or after the Financial Secretary delivered his Budget Speech. Such instant polls, which measure people's instant reaction to the policies, would be followed weeks later by our follow-up surveys, which measure people's more matured reaction. We believe this is a better way to study public opinion on these issues. Our Budget instant poll this year was released on March 1, while the findings of our follow-up poll are released today. As a general practice, all figures have been weighted according to the provisional figures obtained from the Census and Statistics Department regarding the gender-age distribution of the Hong Kong population in 2006 year-end. Herewith the contact information for the latest survey:


 Year of survey   Date of survey   Sample base   Overall response rate   Sampling error of percentages* 
 2007 follow-up survey   19-21/3/07   1,007   63.6%   +/- 3% 
 2007 instant poll   28/2/07   1,018   65.2%   +/-3% 
* "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*(maximum values)   Sample size
(total sample or sub-sample) 
 Sampling error of percentages*(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 % 

* Based on 95% confidence interval.

Results of the Budget follow-up poll, together with the instant poll, are tabulated below:

    Instant poll     Follow-up poll   Latest Change(percentage) 
 Date of survey   28/2/07     19-21/3/07   -- 
 Overall response rate   65.2%   63.6%     -- 
 Sample base for each question/percentage of answer   Base   %   Base   %   -- 
 Appraisal of Budget: Satisfaction rate*   673**   62   958**   62   -- 
 Appraisal of Budget: Dissatisfaction rate *   673**   9   958**   13   +4 
 Satisfied with the government's strategy in monetary arrangement *   1,018   49   1,00  60   +11 
 Dissatisfied with the government's strategy in monetary arrangement *   1,018   10   1,00  13   +3 
 Confident that the Government would achieve namely consolidating competitive edge, developing a knowledge-based economy, and helping the disadvantaged*   603   41   51  39   -2 
 Not confident that the Government would achieve namely consolidating competitive edge, developing a knowledge-based economy, and helping the disadvantaged*   603   27   51  24   -3 
 Think that the Financial Secretary announced tax concessions are sufficient*   609   67   532   54   -13 
 Think that the Financial Secretary announced tax concessions are not sufficient*   609   23   532   40   +17 
 Perceived the tax system in Hong Kong to be fair*   532   63   570   63   -- 
 Perceived the tax system in Hong Kong to be unfair*   532   28   570   31   +3 
 Perceived the distribution of wealth in Hong Kong to be reasonable*   570   34   555   39   +5 
 Perceived the distribution of wealth in Hong Kong to be unreasonable*   570   52   555   52   -- 

* Collapsed from a 5-point scale.
** Excluding respondents who had not heard of/were not clear about the Budget.

The follow-up poll in mid-March revealed that, after excluding those respondents who said they were not clear about the Budget, 62% of the respondents were satisfied with the Budget and 13% were dissatisfied. Of 1,007 respondents, 60% were satisfied with the government's strategy in monetary arrangement, whereas 13% were dissatisfied.

On the other hand, 39% of the respondents were confident that the Government would achieve namely consolidating competitive edge, developing a knowledge-based economy, and helping the disadvantaged. And 24% of the respondents were not confident. 54% of the respondents thought that the tax concessions announced by the Financial Secretary were sufficient and 40% considered them insufficient.

With respect to Hong Kong's tax system, 63% viewed it fair, whilst 31% thought it unfair. Last of all, 39% perceived the distribution of wealth in Hong Kong reasonable, as contrast to 52% who regarded it unreasonable.


Commentary

Robert Ting-Yiu Chung, Director of Public Opinion Programme, observed, "Our Budget instant poll this year shows that people's instant reaction to Henry Tang's fourth Budget is fairly positive, their satisfaction rate is the highest among all four Budgets prepared by Tang. Over the years, we observe that people's receptiveness of the government's Budgets often drops after they have been debated for some time. Take Henry Tang's first three Budgets as examples, people's satisfaction dropped 5 percentage points in 2004 between our instant and follow-up polls. In 2005 and 2006, they both dropped 8 percentage points. This year, however, is an exception. After almost four weeks' discussions, intertwined with the Chief Executive election, people's satisfaction rate has remained at 62%. In other words, people's positive feeling of the Budget has not been dampened after serious discussions. Quite on the contrary, people's satisfaction with the government's fiscal policies has increased 11 percentage points compared to the instant poll, while the number of people who considered Hong Kong's tax system to be fair has increased by 5 percentage points, although still on the minority. However, on whether tax concession measures announced in the Budget are sufficient, the percentage for those who said "yes" has plunged by 13 percentage points while for those who said "no" has jumped 17 percentage points. If the Financial Secretary could do more on this front, people's satisfaction with the Budget would possibly be even more positive."

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 April 3, 2007, between 1pm to 2pm, when the latest popularity figures of CE Donald Tsang and the HKSAR Government will be released.

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 of Budget follow-up surveys

In the past many years, POP has conducted instant polls after the Policy Address and the Budget Speech are delivered. Such instant polls, which measure people's instant reaction to the policies, would be followed weeks later by our follow-up surveys, which measure people's more matured reaction. We believe this is a better way to study public opinion on these issues. Since the establishment of HKSAR, we began our Budget follow-up survey and our operation has not changed much since then. By "follow-up survey", we mean a survey which is conducted after several weeks when the Budget Speech is delivered, in order to gauge people's more matured reaction. The development of our Budget follow-up surveys is as follows:

  • Our follow-up surveys mainly repeat questions from the instant poll that asked for people's overall appraisal of the Budget, and tackle the ad hoc questions designed to match the content of the Budget. As an example, the questions of instant poll 2007 are:

    1. Overall speaking, are you satisfied with the government's strategy in monetary arrangement?

    2. In general, are you satisfied with the Budget announced by the Financial Secretary?

    3. 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?

    4. 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?

    5. Overall speaking, do you think the tax system in Hong Kong is fair or unfair?

    6. Do you think the distribution of wealth in Hong Kong is reasonable or unreasonable?

    7. Please rate your support of the Financial Secretary Henry Tang Ying-yen using a 0-100 scale. 0 stands for absolutely no support, 100 stands for absolute support, 50 stands for half-half. How would you rate the Financial Secretary Henry Tang Ying-yen?

    8. If you had the right to vote on the reappointment or dismissal of Henry Tang Ying-yen as the Financial Secretary tomorrow, how would you vote?

As for the follow-up survey, it only includes the above-mentioned Questions 1-6 in the instant poll.

  • Regarding the sample sizes of the government's strategy in monetary arrangement and people's appraisal of the Budget, they were set at slightly over 1,000. While the sample sizes of other questions have been set at slightly over 500.

  • The findings conducted on or before November 2000 have been published in our newsletter POP Express, and they are available in our POP Site in various formats.

 | Latest Figures | Commentary | News about POP | About HKUPOP |
| Detailed Findings (Follow-up Poll of the 2007 Financial Budget) |