THE Government yesterday warned it would not implement the Mandatory Provident Fund scheme if its funding application for an office was rejected next week in the Legislative Council. Secretary for Economic Services, Rafael Hui Si-yan, said the Government had no plan to continue the scheme if its $48 million bid was rejected. The office was needed to draft the subsidiary legislation for the retirement scheme. He said $22 million was needed to employ consultants, $21 million to form a 20-strong team and $5 million for an information system. He said he was satisfied this represented the most cost-effective approach to get the scheme going. 'We have a lot of other things to deal with ahead of the 1997 handover. It is meaningless to keep putting forward the funding application every few months,' Mr Hui said. But legislators shrugged off the warning last night, saying they would go ahead and block the application in the Finance Committee next Friday. 'What Mr Hui said was not responsible. 'The Government should take in the view of the Legislative Council,' said legislator Chan Yuen-han, of the Federation of Trade Unions. Democratic Party spokesman Michael Ho Man-ka said its legislators would oppose the application. The party and unionists indicated, however, that they might support the office funding if the Government pledged to increase the social allowance for elderly people. Mr Hui admitted that the chance of the funding being approved was not good at present. He said the administration could not offer any commitment to legislators for an increase in allowances before the review on social security payment levels was completed. The retirement scheme and welfare for the elderly were different issues, he said, adding that legislators should not link them. Mr Hui said that once an office was set up, an expert group of accountants, lawyers and an auditor would be established to give a professional view on how the retirement scheme would operate. The Mandatory Provident Fund Advisory Board would also be set up to provide policy suggestions.