Thu, Aug 24, 2006 - Page 5 News List

HK government loses ground in popularity stakes


Plans to introduce a goods and sales tax plus the lack of official commitment for universal suffrage are believed to have caused a 6 percent drop in public trust in the government, a media report said yesterday.

Support for the government has receded since a record high in April, the South China Morning Post said.

Latest data from the Hong Kong University's public opinion program showed that 54 percent of respondents trust the government, a 6 percent drop from the previous survey in June, and a 15 percent drop since April. This followed a telephone survey of 1,000 people.

Robert Chung head of the program, said: "Events in recent months, like the revived discussions on the pace of democracy and recent debates on the introduction of the goods and services tax, may all have eroded people's trust in the government."

Hong Kong Chief Executive Donald Tsang (曾蔭權) has admitted to lawmakers that plans to introduce a goods and sales tax have harmed the administration's popularity, since the proposal was announced by officials last month.

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