POP releases findings of Financial Budget first follow-up survey (2020-03-03)

Press Release on March 3, 2020

POP releases findings of Financial Budget first follow-up survey

Special Announcements

  1. The predecessor of Hong Kong Public Opinion Program (HKPOP) was The Public Opinion Programme at The University of Hong Kong (HKUPOP). “POP” in this release can refer to HKPOP or its predecessor HKUPOP.
  2. The Budget surveys, including instant and follow-up polls, conducted by POP this year may be the last of its series, whether it will be continued next year or not will depend on public support.

Abstract

POP successfully interviewed 512 Hong Kong residents by random telephone survey conducted by real interviewers right after the Budget Speech was delivered. Our survey shows that people’s instant reaction to this year’s Budget on the day it was released can be considered positive, with a net satisfaction of positive 19 percentage points and a rating of 54.1 marks. After one to two days of media coverage, the reaction turns negative. The net satisfaction rate plunges by 41 percentage points to negative 22. Its satisfaction rating also plunges by 13.9 marks to 40.2, registering an all-time low since records began in 2008. This shows people’s response has significantly worsened after digesting some information and discussions on the Budget. Besides, 39% each supported or opposed the Legislative Council passing the Budget. Meanwhile, 20% were satisfied with the government’s strategy in monetary arrangement, whereas 60% were dissatisfied, thus net satisfaction stands at negative 40 percentage points, registering a new record low since 2003. With respect to Hong Kong’s tax system, 52% considered it fair, whilst 35% thought it was unfair. Last of all, 24% perceived the distribution of wealth in Hong Kong reasonable, as contrast to 67% who regarded it unreasonable. The effective response rate of the survey is 70.3%. The maximum sampling error of percentages is +/-4%, that of net values is +/-8% and that of ratings is +/-2.7 at 95% confidence level.

Contact Information

Date of survey : 27-28/2/2020
Survey method : Random telephone survey conducted by real interviewers
Target population : Cantonese-speaking Hong Kong residents aged 18 or above
Sample size[1] : 512 (including 255 landline and 257 mobile samples)
Effective response rate[2] : 70.3%
Sampling error[3] : Sampling error of percentages not more than +/-4%, that of net values not more than +/-8% and that of ratings not more than +/-2.7 at 95% conf. level
Weighting method : Rim-weighted according to figures provided by the Census and Statistics Department. The gender-age distribution of the Hong Kong population came from “Mid-year population for 2018”, while the educational attainment (highest level attended) distribution and economic activity status distribution came from “Women and Men in Hong Kong – Key Statistics (2018 Edition)”.

[1]     This figure is the total sample size of the survey. Some questions may only involve a subsample, the size of which can be found in the tables below.

[2]     Before September 2017, “overall response rate” was used to report surveys’ contact information. Starting from September 2017, “effective response rate” was used. In July 2018, POP further revised the calculation of effective response rate. Thus, the response rates before and after the change cannot be directly compared.

[3]     All error figures in this release are calculated at 95% confidence level. “95% confidence level” means that if we were to repeat a certain survey 100 times with different random samples, we would expect 95 times having the population parameter within the respective error margins calculated. Because of sampling errors, when quoting percentages, journalists should refrain from reporting decimal places, whereas one decimal place can be used when quoting rating figures.

Latest Figures

Results of the first Budget follow-up surveys of 2017 to 2020 together with their corresponding instant polls are tabulated below:

Instant survey[4] First follow-up survey Change
2020
Date of survey 26/2/2020 27-28/2/2020
Sample size[5] 1,038 512
Response rate 75.5% 70.3%
Appraisal of Budget: Satisfaction rate[6] 46% 28+/-4% -18%[7]
Appraisal of Budget: Dissatisfaction rate[6] 27% 50+/-4% +23%[7]
Net satisfaction rate 19% -22+/-8% -41%[7]
Mean value[6] 3.2 2.5+/-0.1 -0.7[7]
Satisfaction rating of Budget 54.1 40.2+/-2.7 -13.9[7]
2019
Date of survey 27/2/2019 28/2-1/3/2019
Sample size[5] 561 512
Response rate 78.2% 67.8%
Appraisal of Budget: Satisfaction rate[6] 23% 24% +1%
Appraisal of Budget: Dissatisfaction rate[6] 39% 50% +11%[7]
Net satisfaction rate -16% -26% -9%
Mean value[6] 2.7 2.5 -0.1
Satisfaction rating of Budget 47.1 43.1 -4.0[7]
2018
Date of survey 28/2/2018 1-2/3/2018
Sample size[5] 551 507
Response rate 67.5% 62.6%
Appraisal of Budget: Satisfaction rate[6] 26% 31% +5%[7]
Appraisal of Budget: Dissatisfaction rate[6] 41% 54% +13%[7]
Net satisfaction rate -14% -23% -9%[7]
Mean value[6] 2.7 2.5 -0.2[7]
Satisfaction rating of Budget 48.2 42.8 -5.4[7]
2017
Date of survey 22/2/2017 23-24/2/2017
Sample size[5] 502 506
Response rate 64.4% 70.4%
Appraisal of Budget: Satisfaction rate[6] 33% 26% -7%[7]
Appraisal of Budget: Dissatisfaction rate[6] 18% 27% +9%[7]
Net satisfaction rate 15% 0% -15%[7]
Mean value[6] 3.2 2.9 -0.3[7]
Satisfaction rating of Budget 55.7 52.6 -3.1[7]

[4]     Questions in instant surveys would exclude respondents who had not heard of / did not have any knowledge of the Budget. Figures in the table are subsample sizes.

[5]     Before March 2020, weighted count was used to report subsample size. Starting from March 2020, raw count was used instead.

[6]     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.

[7]     The difference between the figure and the result from the previous survey has gone beyond the sampling error at 95% confidence level, meaning that the change is statistically significant prima facie. However, whether the difference is statistically significant is not the same as whether they are practically useful or meaningful, and different weighting methods could have been applied in different surveys.

People’s instant reaction to this year’s Budget the day it was released can be considered positive, with a net satisfaction of positive 19 percentage points. As for the rating of the Budget, this year’s instant survey gave a rating of 54.1 marks. After one to two days of media coverage, the reaction turns negative. The latest satisfaction rate stands at 28%, dissatisfaction rate 50%, net satisfaction rate plunges by 41 percentage points to negative 22. The mean score is 2.5, meaning between “half-half” and “quite dissatisfied” in general. Its satisfaction rating also plunges by 13.9 marks to 40.2, registering an all-time low since records began in 2008. This shows people’s response has become negative after digesting some information and discussions on the Budget.

With respect to people’s attitude toward the Budget, their satisfaction with the government’s strategy in monetary arrangement and other relevant issues, the figures are summarized below:

Date of survey 25-26/2/16 23-24/2/17 1-2/3/18 28/2-1/3/19 27-28/2/2020 Latest change
Sample size 514 506 507 512 512
Response rate 68.6% 70.4% 62.6% 67.8% 70.3%
Latest findings Finding Finding Finding Finding Finding & error
Support the Legislative Council passing the Budget[8] 39+/-4%
Oppose the Legislative Council passing the Budget[8] 39+/-4%
Net support rate <1+/-8%
Mean value[8] 2.9+/-0.1
Government’s strategy in monetary arrangement: Satisfaction rate[8] 37% 32%[10] 32% 25%[10] 20+/-4% -4%
Government’s strategy in monetary arrangement: Dissatisfaction rate[8] 34% 32% 50%[10] 56% 60+/-4% +5%
Net satisfaction rate 3% 0% -18%[10] -31%[10] -40+/-7% -9%
Mean value[8] 2.9 2.9 2.6[10] 2.4[10] 2.2+/-0.1 -0.2[10]
Perceived the tax system in Hong Kong to be fair[9] 58% 58% 56% 59% 52+/-4% -7%[10]
Perceived the tax system in Hong Kong to be unfair[9] 28% 28% 32% 31% 35+/-4% +4%
Perceived the distribution of wealth in Hong Kong to be reasonable[9] 30% 20%[10] 26%[10] 23% 24+/-4% +1%
Perceived the distribution of wealth in Hong Kong to be unreasonable[9] 57% 68%[10] 67% 66% 67+/-4% +1%

[8]     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.

[9]     Collapsed from a 4-point scale.

[10]  The difference between the figure and the result from the previous survey has gone beyond the sampling error at 95% confidence level, meaning that the change is statistically significant prima facie. However, whether the difference is statistically significant is not the same as whether they are practically useful or meaningful, and different weighting methods could have been applied in different surveys.

Latest results revealed that 39% each supported or opposed the Legislative Council passing the Budget. Meanwhile, 20% were satisfied with the government’s strategy in monetary arrangement, whereas 60% were dissatisfied, thus net satisfaction stands at negative 40 percentage points, registering a new record low since 2003. The mean value is 2.2, which is close to “quite dissatisfied” in general. With respect to Hong Kong’s tax system, 52% considered it fair, whilst 35% thought it was unfair. Last of all, 24% perceived the distribution of wealth in Hong Kong reasonable, as contrast to 67% who regarded it unreasonable.

Data Analysis

Our survey showed that people’s instant reaction to this year’s Budget on the day it was released can be considered positive, with a net satisfaction of positive 19 percentage points and a rating of 54.1 marks. After one to two days of media coverage, the reaction turns negative. The net satisfaction rate plunges by 41 percentage points to negative 22. Its satisfaction rating also plunges by 13.9 marks to 40.2, registering an all-time low since records began in 2008. This shows people’s response has significantly worsened after digesting some information and discussions on the Budget. Besides, 39% each supported or opposed the Legislative Council passing the Budge. Meanwhile, 20% were satisfied with the government’s strategy in monetary arrangement, whereas 60% were dissatisfied, thus net satisfaction stands at negative 40 percentage points, registering a new record low since 2003. With respect to Hong Kong’s tax system, 52% considered it fair, whilst 35% thought it was unfair. Last of all, 24% perceived the distribution of wealth in Hong Kong reasonable, as contrast to 67% who regarded it unreasonable.

Detailed Findings

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