The case is closed for native English-speaking teachers demanding compensation to make up for an earlier cut in their special allowance, a senior education official has said. NET Lee Weston argued at the Legislative Council's education panel this week that the Education and Manpower Bureau should give equal pay to teachers who suffered a 19 per cent cut in their special allowance in 2004, especially in the face of rising taxes and living costs as well as falling foreign exchange rates. NETs who signed a contract in 2004 suffered a cut in their special allowance, which was reduced from HK$13,000 a month to HK$10,500. Strong protests prompted the EMB to restore the pay for those joining from 2005 onwards to HK$12,950. 'Legco must address this grievance,' Ms Weston said. But Deputy Secretary for Education and Manpower Chris Wardlaw said the bureau would not be making any retrospective payments. He acknowledged the importance of parity but said circumstances in 2004 should be taken into consideration, adding that people in other sectors were not treated on the same contractual basis. Mr Wardlaw said the bureau was empathetic with the NETs' request and had made the package as attractive as possible. But Ms Weston criticised Mr Wardlaw for refusing to deal with the issue. 'He has a very closed mind,' she said. Damien Piers Vance, chairman of the Native English speaking Teachers' Association, submitted a document saying the special allowance was 'plainly inadequate'. 'NETs with children see their salary eaten up by fees at English Schools Foundation or international schools, and many have left as this burden is too heavy,' he wrote.