Up to $20 million was approved yesterday as advances for legislators' expenses. At present, members can only claim reimbursement after paying their expenses. Under the new arrangements, up to $225,000 - two months' operating expenses - can be advanced. The money must be repaid to the Legco Secretariat when a member leaves. Reimbursement can be claimed in the usual manner. A member can apply for $100,000 to set up a district office and $50,000 for the Central office. After a meeting at which the money was approved, Legco President and Commission chairman Rita Fan Hsu Lai-tai said the commission could lose income from annual interest of more than $1 million, assuming banks were paid nine per cent. But, Mrs Fan said: 'I have to stress that not every legislator will apply. They will only apply when necessary.'