BANKERS, industrialists, developers and big corporations are the ones enjoying the free lunch, argued trade unionist Lau Chin-shek in response to accusations against liberal grassroots members of the legislature. Mr Lau, chairman of the Confederation of Trade Unions, used the motion of thanks to deride the suggestion Legco was occupied by a majority of the 'free-lunch faction' after the September election. It was the bankers who charged high lending rates and offered low savings rates who were enjoying a free lunch, said Mr Lau, a core Democratic Party member. And the industrialists who demanded lower profits tax while making huge profits were also having a free lunch. Big corporations which demanded increases every year and property developers who pressed for measures to boost the property market were also at the free lunch table, Mr Lau said. The motion was transformed into a debate between employer and employee representatives over the direction of economic policy. Liberal Party member Edward Ho Sing-tin condemned those asking to halt labour importation, saying: 'They are actively calling for a stop to all importation of workers as if that is the chief cause of rising unemployment. 'Such calls blind us to the real cause and prevent us from solving the root cause of the problem.' His colleague, Ngai Shiu-kit, blamed the Government for failing to make careful analysis about why there would be a great gap between supply and demand in the labour market before proposing a new scheme to supplement the existing one. 'It is merely a political concession,' he said, adding no one would win under these circumstances, as no solution had been suggested. Independent legislator Chim Pui-chung said it was 'barbarous and unreasonable' to demand the scheme be stopped. But the labour representative, Lee Kai-ming, said the labour importation policy was no more than a blatant move to suppress workers' wages. The policy only served to weaken workers' bargaining power and to promote social inequality, the legislator said. Democrat Michael Ho Mun-ka said: 'I would like to point out a very ridiculous phenomenon - that while Hong Kong is launching a world-class infrastructure programme, workers in the construction industry are the ones who suffer most from unemployment.'