Legislators' 'abuse of power' with private member's bills in the past session might make it more difficult to introduce such laws after the handover, according to Acting Chief Secretary Donald Tsang Yam-kuen. He was referring to attempts by Legislative Council members to have a say over fare increases for public utilities such as buses and trains and their veto on water and sewage charges. 'It's a pity that Legco has taken a short-sighted approach [in these issues] in the present political situation,' Mr Tsang said. 'Our present system is good, but when it is abused it will make people feel there is a greater need to change it. There will be bad consequences if [they] go to extremes.' Under the Basic Law, legislators may introduce bills that are not related to public expenditure and political structure of the Government. But any bills relating to government policies need to have the prior written consent of the chief executive. Mr Tsang said: 'The power to table private member's bills has been restricted under Basic Law. 'It will be more difficult to change it now.' He said the territory had already developed a system for granting franchise rights. 'Investors have to know what will be the rate of return on their investments. You can't change it by law at your own will. The balance will be lost. There will be negative feedback,' he said. Mr Tsang said the Legco veto of water and sewage charges had derailed the policy that the polluter pays. 'Where is the money going to come from? At the end of the day, it's from taxpayers.' The Government has estimated that the total loss of revenue incurred by the veto of the increase in water charges will be about $2 billion. 'We can only study other ways to boost revenue, cut costs and improve efficiency so that the loss will be smaller,' Mr Tsang said. 'We will also consider when to take it back to Legco. We won't give up. We can't give subsidies over a long period of time.'