A 30 per cent pay cut for government recruits is a good offer, university graduates were told yesterday. The remark by Secretary for Civ il Service Lam Woon-kwong came after a student challenged the Social Welfare Department's decision to offer only 70 per cent of the present salary to recruits. Mr Lam told a City University forum he regretted that the decision was seen as discriminatory. 'Those who are competent should not be so mean about the pay. They should realise that they are serving the public,' he said. He added that few private companies would pay a graduate up to $22,000 a month as the Government did. A 30 per cent cut to $16,000 per month was 'pretty much above average', said Mr Lam, who is paid $181,050 a month. 'We have the responsibility to spend taxpayers' money prudently, especially in times of economic downturn,' he said. The issue will soon be discussed by the Legco public service panel. In a letter to the panel, Mr Lam said the cut was applicable to temporary non-civil service recruits.