A 10 per cent pay rise suggested by employees is unacceptable as it is higher than the rate of economic growth, an employers' association spokesman said yesterday. May Chow, executive director of the Employer's Federation of Hong Kong, said at the City Forum that its six per cent pay rise proposal was just a reference for employers who would have their own discretion. She admitted employees with low incomes would have negative pay rises under this suggestion. She said these people deserved a larger increase. She objected to a 10 per cent salary rise, which was suggested by some employees' associations, by saying in Singapore the pay rise and economic growth were both 10 per cent. 'With a four per cent economic growth in Hong Kong, 10 per cent is too high since it would be higher than the growth rate.' Legislator Li Cheuk-yan, also secretary general of the Hong Kong Confederation of Trade Unions, said it was difficult to expect the employers would give a higher pay rise to low-income employees, especially with a high unemployment rate. He urged for labour collective rights so they would have greater bargaining power for a higher pay rise. Employee groups, including the Civil Servants Union said that employees' interests had not been taken care of.