HKU POP SITE releases the third survey on this year's BudgetBack

 
Press Release on March 30, 2010

| Abstract | Background | Latest Figures | Commentary | Next Release (Tentative) |
| Detailed Finding (Follow-up Poll of the 2010 Financial Budget ) |


Abstract

The Public Opinion Programme (POP) at the University of Hong Kong interviewed 1,012 Hong Kong people from 23 to 25 March by means of a random telephone survey conducted by real interviewers, we find that people's satisfaction with the Budget has dropped in our follow-up surveys compared to our instant survey. This seems to be a common phenomenon over the years, because people's satisfaction of the Budget usually drops after digesting its content. Our surveys in 2008 show that people's immediate reaction to John Tsang's maiden Budget was quite positive on the first day, went up further on the second day, and then dropped back to the initial level in our follow-up survey. Our surveys this and last year show that people's satisfaction level dropped significantly in the second round of surveys, then dropped again in the third round. People's net satisfaction rate over this year's Budget now stands at positive 5 percentage points, with a satisfaction score of 53.7 marks. As for people's appraisal of the three objectives and a number of policy proposals, they have all dropped compared to the second survey. However, probably due to the continual recovery of the economy, people's satisfaction with the government's financial policies has increased significantly by 5 percentage points. People continue to consider Hong Kong's tax system fair, but the distribution of wealth unreasonable. The maximum sampling error of all percentages is +/-4 percentage points at 95% confidence level, while the sampling error of rating figure is +/-1.6. 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 1,012 successful interviews, not 1,012 x 69.3% 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 is +/-1.6. "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 +/-1.6 and sampling error of percentages not more than +/-4% at 95% confidence level".
[4]  When quoting percentages of this survey, journalists should refrain from reporting decimal places, but when quoting the rating figures, one decimal place can be used, in order to match the precision level of the figures.
[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. We believe this is a better way to study public opinion on these issues: measuring people's instant reaction first, and then repeat these measurements later to find out people's more matured reaction.

For this year's Budget, in our first survey, we measured 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. Our results were released on February 25. For 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. Our results were released on March 2 respectively. Today we are releasing the results of our third and last survey.


Latest Figures

The findings of the Budget follow-up 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 in 2009 year-end. Herewith the contact information of various surveys:

Year of survey

Date of survey

Sample base

Overall response rate

Sampling error of percentages[6]

2010 third survey

23-25/3/2010

1,012

69.3%

+/-3%

2010 second survey

25-27/2/2010

517

67.1%

+/-4%

2010 instant survey

24/2/2010

1,008

65.9%

+/-3%

[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 first two surveys, are tabulated below:

 

Instant survey

Second survey

Third survey

Latest Change

Date of survey

24/2/2010

25-27/2/2010

23-25/3/2010

--

Overall response rate

65.9%

67.1%

69.3%

--

Sub sample size for each qn/ Finding

Base

Finding

Base

Finding

Base

Finding/Error[8]

--

Satisfaction rating of Budget (0 to 100 marks)

724[9]

60.8

517

56.3[12]

506

53.7 +/-1.6

-2.6[12]

Appraisal of Budget: Satisfaction rate[10]

724[9]

47%

517

39%[12]

547

35% +/-4%

-4%

Appraisal of Budget: Dissatisfaction rate[10]

724[9]

14%

517

27%[12]

547

30% +/-4%

+3%

Measures proposed by Financial Secretary could achieve the three objectives of Budget, that is, consolidating recovery, developing our economy and building a caring society

--

--

517

33%

517

27% +/-4%

-6%[12]

Measures proposed by Financial Secretary could not achieve the three objectives of Budget, that is, consolidating recovery, developing our economy and building a caring society

--

--

517

48%

517

57% +/-4%

+9%[12]

Measures proposed could stabilize the property market

--

--

517

24%

524

22% +/-4%

-2%

Measures proposed could not stabilize the property market

--

--

517

61%

524

65% +/-4%

+4%

Tax concessions announced by the Financial Secretary were sufficient

--

--

517

51%

558

47% +/-4%

-4%

Tax concessions announced by the Financial Secretary were insufficient

--

--

517

42%

558

47% +/-4%

+5%[12]

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

--

--

517

34%

519

39% +/-4%

+5%[12]

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

--

--

517

30%

519

30% +/-4%

--

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

--

--

517

60%

554

60% +/-4%

--

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

--

--

517

31%

554

30% +/-4%

-1%

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

--

--

517

27%

572

26% +/-4%

-1%

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

--

--

517

62%

572

65% +/-4%

+3%

[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 +/-1.6, sampling error of percentages not more than +/-4% 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.
[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 follow-up poll in late March revealed that, 35% of the respondents were satisfied with the Budget and 30% were dissatisfied. The average rating registered for the Budget was 53.7 marks. 39% were satisfied with the government's strategy in monetary arrangement, whereas 30% were dissatisfied.

On the other hand, 27% of the respondents said the measures proposed by the Financial Secretary could achieve the three objectives of the Budget, that is, consolidating recovery, developing our economy and building a caring society, 57% said it could not. As for the measures of ensuring a stable development of property market, 22% believed the measures proposed could stabilize the property market, 65% thought the opposite. 47% of the respondents thought that the tax concessions announced by the Financial Secretary were sufficient and 57% considered them not sufficient.

With respect to Hong Kong's tax system, 60% viewed it fair, whilst 30% thought it unfair. Last of all, 26% perceived the distribution of wealth in Hong Kong reasonable, as contrast to 65% who regarded it unreasonable.


Commentary

Robert Ting-Yiu Chung, Director of Public Opinion Programme, observed, "Our latest survey finds that that people's satisfaction with the Budget has dropped in our follow-up surveys compared to our instant survey. This seems to be a common phenomenon over the years, because people's satisfaction of the Budget usually drops after digesting its content. Our surveys in 2008 show that people's immediate reaction to John Tsang's maiden Budget was quite positive on the first day, went up further on the second day, and then dropped back to the initial level in our follow-up survey. Our surveys last and this year show that people's satisfaction level dropped significantly in the second round of surveys, then dropped again in the third round. People's net satisfaction rate over this year's Budget now stands at positive 5 percentage points, with a satisfaction score of 53.7 marks. As for people's appraisal of the three objectives and a number of policy proposals, they have all dropped compared to the second survey. However, probably due to the continual recovery of the economy, people's satisfaction with the government's financial policies has increased significantly by 5 percentage points. People continue to consider Hong Kong's tax system fair, but the distribution of wealth unreasonable."


Next Release (Tentative)

  • April 8, 2010 (Thursday) 1pm to 2pm: Popularity of CE and SARG


| Abstract | Background | Latest Figures | Commentary | Next Release (Tentative) |
| Detailed Finding (Follow-up Poll of the 2010 Financial Budget ) |