Sociologists said the Budget was a damaging blow to the government's legitimacy, and would not help social cohesiveness. Ben Ku Hok-bung, an assistant professor at Polytechnic University's applied social science department, said the Budget made the government 'the common enemy of society' and would 'affect the government's legitimacy'. 'It seems the financial secretary has become very irrational. When a deficit arises, he just thinks of solutions which come at the people's expense. He is not listening to public opinion,' he said. His colleague and current-affairs commentator Ho Kwok-leung said the Budget was unfair to lower and middle-income groups, and Hong Kong would become increasingly polarised. 'The biggest financial burden for easing the budget deficit now goes to the lower and middle classes, while the impact to the upper class is very mild after intensive political negotiations over the past month.' He said those with a salary of $10,000-$15,000 faced increases of up to 123 per cent, while the rise in the standard tax rate was small. 'The business community and the rich have their way of paying less tax. Antony Leung's knife to low and middle-income groups is quick and sharp.'