Legislators yesterday blocked an attempt to raise charges for people applying to have their water meters tested, but they supported other increases which officials said would not affect livelihoods. The increases include charges for the installation of water meters for new buildings, meter testing and connecting water to houses built by male villagers in the New Territories. The proposed rises ranged from $7 to $350. At present it costs between $460 and $2,240 to have a defective household water meter tested by the Water Supplies Department. The Government proposed to increase it to between $530 and $2,465. The Democrats and the Democratic Alliance for the Betterment of Hong Kong supported the increases, except for meter-testing. A motion to reject the entire batch of rises sponsored by unionist Lau Chin-shek and Liberal Party chairman James Tien Pei-chun was voted down. But an alternative motion moved by Democrat Sin Chung-kai, seeking to block only the fee rise for meter tests while supporting other increases, was passed by a large margin with cross-party support. Secretary for Treasury Denise Yue Chung-yee said the rises would not affect people's livelihood since only property developers would be affected by the price rise for installing water pipes, and the Government would only receive about $2 million extra in annual income from the increases. Mr Lau had argued that any increases would directly or indirectly affect people at grassroots level. This was the latest in a series of proposals to raise fees. Last month, legislators blocked attempts to raise charges for holding public activities in country and marine parks, and rejected increases for judicial fees.