Hong Kong people’s instant feedback on Financial Secretary John Tsang Chun-wah’s ninth budget has been generally positive, although the net satisfaction and rating of the budget both fell compared to last year, a University of Hong Kong Public Opinion Programme has found.

HKUPOP interviewed 528 Hongkongers about the budget speech on Wednesday night via phone. It found that the instant response to the budget was generally positive amongst those who knew about it, with 36 percent satisfied, 20 percent dissatisfied and 31 percent neutral, giving a net satisfaction of positive 17 percentage points. The survey plots responses on a 1-5 scale.

John Tsang delivers the 2016 budget. Photo: GovHK.

However, this was a significant decrease of 11 percentage points compared to the net satisfaction of 28 percentage points last year. The rating also fell 3.0 marks to 57.2 marks.

The survey also found that the respondents who support Tsang the most tend to be those who are aged 50 or above, and the same group are the most satisfied with the budget.

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“In terms of personal popularity, both the support rating and net approval rate of John Tsang have not changed much after his budget speech, meaning that his popularity has not been much affected by the budget instantly,” Frank Lee, Research Manager of Public Opinion Programme, said. The survey showed that his latest popularity rating, after the budget speech, was at 62.2 marks, with a net approval of positive 48 percentage points.

HKUPOP’s next follow-up survey will look at people’s longer-term reactions to the budget after they learn more about it.


Karen is a journalist and writer covering politics and legal affairs in Hong Kong for HKFP. She has also written features on human rights, public space, regional legal developments, social and grassroots activism, and arts & culture. She is a BA and LLB graduate from the University of Hong Kong.