Proposed cuts in civil servant benefits would lower the attraction of a career in the Government, a union leader warned yesterday. Leung Chi-chiu, chairman of the Senior Non-Expatriate Officers' Association, said any cut in perks would make a civil service career less attractive. But he would not object to the extension of the period for granting housing allowances, saying 'it would help retain talent'. The Government has issued proposals on cutting fringe benefits for civil servants. It suggests extending the period for granting housing allowances from 10 to 20 years while perks could be paid in a lump sum rather than being reimbursed on presentation of receipts. Though the amount is likely to be cut to compensate for the extension of period, it is not stated how much it might be cut. Other proposals include cutting annual leave by one third, although the cut may be smaller for senior civil servants. Newcomers might have to forgo local education allowances. The Government will purchase medical and dental insurance for newly recruited staff instead of granting free medical services. In addition, civil servants would be divided into three categories on a points basis calculated according to duties and other factors. Those above point 34 would enjoy housing perks the same as their counterparts at present. But those below point 22, even with 20 years' service, would not be entitled to the benefits.