Certain members of the Legislative Council are playing political games that threaten to send taxes up, send the stock market plummeting and undermine confidence in the territory, Wharf (Holdings) executive director John Hung says. Mr Hung said a seemingly innocuous bill presented by legislator Lau Chin-shek to have increases in bus fares approved by Legco had wide-ranging implications for private companies involved in infrastructure projects with the Government. 'They are playing politics and I am not sure they realise the long-term effects,' he said. Mr Hung argued the bill would allow Legco to put pressure on the profitability of private companies by dictating how much fares could be increased. He said if the bill was approved, similar bills could follow that permitted Legco to dictate rail fares, ferry fares and utility charges. Legislator Sin Chung-kai has vowed to sponsor a bill to put the three railways' fare revisions under the control of Legco if Mr Lau's bill becomes law. Mr Lau's bill is due to be tabled on June 26. Mr Hung said: 'If the confidence of the franchisees is dismantled because of their inability to legitimately make a reasonable return due to political pressure, the operators will be more reluctant to bid for infrastructural projects. 'International bankers would also be less willing to offer their support. 'The result will be either that the projects are not bankable, or they lose their commercial viability. 'Faced with such threats, operators are beginning to worry about the sanctity of franchise contracts.' Mr Hung said the future would be gloomy should the private sector pull out of infrastructure investment. 'If the private-sector involvement disappears, the Government will then have to resume its responsibility for these essential services. 'The Government will then be hard pressed to maintain a low tax base, because these services must then come out of government coffers. 'Companies will also suffer because corporate earnings will be eroded by higher tax bills. 'The attraction of the Hong Kong stock exchange will probably deteriorate. 'The net result - a loss of international investment confidence in Hong Kong as a whole.' Critics have accused the companies of acting selfishly at the expense of the fare-paying public.