THE long-running row on long-service payments is approaching the end after the Labour Advisory Board's package passed the Executive Council yesterday. The package is likely to become law before Lunar New Year if the amendment bill, modelled on the board's consensus, passes the three readings in the Legislative Council next Wednesday. The bill will be gazetted on Friday. It suggests payments be increased according to a 10-year timetable under which the maximum payment be fixed at $210,000 and the maximum number of service years counted at 25, after which every two years is counted as one. From October this year, the maximum amount will be increased by $20,000 each year and the years of service allowed increased by two. By October 2004, the ceiling on counting the number of service years will be scrapped.