Legislators passed a resolution yesterday calling on the government to halt plans to scrap the minimum brokerage commission for stockbrokers and to adopt a different strategy that would protect jobs. However, the vote was non-binding and a Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing spokesman said the minimum commission would be abolished as planned. Choi Chen Po-sum, chairwoman of the Institute of Securities Dealers, has urged the government to consider a two-tier system that waives the commission rules for large transactions but keeps them for small-sized trades. However, the government and the HKEx board showed no signs of backing down. The resolution passed by the financial affairs panel was put forward by broker legislator Henry Wu King-cheong. The HKEx board is scheduled to abolish the 0.25 per cent minimum brokerage commission on April 1. 'The exchange and the government should first seek ways to improve the operating environment for brokers before removing the minimum commission,' Mr Wu said. 'Otherwise, it will force many small brokers to close down.' His resolution was supported by unionist legislators including Chan Yuen-han and Lee Cheuk-yan, as well as Liberal Party chairman James Tien Pei-chun. They say the minimum commission should not be scrapped when the economy is weak. However, Democratic Party legislator Sin Chung-kai supported the abolition of the minimum commission, as did the Democratic Alliance for Betterment of Hong Kong's economic affairs spokesman, Chan Kam-lam. Mr Chan said the HKEx board had only just decided to scrap the minimum commission and it should not be pressured to change its position so soon. A HKEx spokesman insisted the minimum commission would be scrapped as planned. 'The HKEx has a public duty to act in the public interest, and the government has said the removal of the minimum commission on April 1 is in the best interests of the public,' the spokesman said. Secretary for Financial Services and the Treasury Frederick Ma Si-hang yesterday repeated the government's support for scrapping the minimum commission.