Panel intervenes in pay row

PUBLISHED : Friday, 11 February, 2000, 12:00am
UPDATED : Friday, 11 February, 2000, 12:00am

An independent panel on lawmakers' salaries will step into a pay row between the Government and legislators.

The Independent Commission on Remuneration for Members of the Executive Council and the Legislature will be consulted on whether lawmakers should be paid after their terms end in June.

Members have argued they should be paid to run their offices until their new terms start in September after the Legco election.

The proposal, if accepted, may cost taxpayers $24 million more.

Director of Administration Carrie Yau Tsang Ka-lai stressed yesterday that the issue was still undecided.

She said some legislators whom she had consulted agreed they should lose their status after their terms ended on June 30.

'We will consult the independent commission and hope to come up with a reasonable arrangement,' she said.

Chinese University Professor Lau Siu-kai, a member of the commission, said: 'The Government should adopt a pragmatic and lenient approach by acknowledging that members are still 'legislators in waiting' after their term of office ends on June 30.' He said members still had to attend Legco meetings on emergency matters called at the Chief Executive's request.