More pay, little work
Lawmakers disagree on whether their colleagues who work less and skip many meetings should receive equal pay. The debate comes because of a controversial plan to nearly double lawmakers' salaries.
There has been public outcry over the proposed rise.
Legislators propose paying themselves HK$141,000 a month, up from the current HK$73,150. Their pay is adjusted yearly for inflation.
Democratic Party lawmaker Cheung Man-kwong suggested a two-tier salary scale under which those who have other jobs would be paid less. 'There is strong public reaction against the proposed increase, as the public feels some lawmakers have an unsatisfactory performance record,' Cheung said at a Legco subcommittee meeting.
'Some do not show up before 3pm and have low attendance rates in Legco committees.'
But other legislators disagreed.
'Some lawmakers may not show up before 3pm, but they contribute in different ways,' said Abraham Razack, who represents the real estate and construction sector functional constituency.
In the 2008 Legco election, Razack was the only candidate in the sector and so ran unopposed.
Import-export sector lawmaker Wong Ting-kwong said a two-tier pay scale would be an insult.
Performance analyses by the SCMP found several Legco members had very poor attendance records.
The subcommittee will submit a report on the proposal to Legco's house committee tomorrow.