Most parents have no say on school textbooks despite the burden placed on family budgets by increasing book prices, a survey has found. The Democratic Alliance for the Betterment and Progress of Hong Kong poll of 614 parents of children last month found 78.8 per cent had not been consulted by schools when it came to the selection of books. Book prices were the biggest concern for parents, with 41.4 per cent saying cost should be the most important criterion when schools made decisions about which books to use. The second biggest cause for concern was the content of textbooks, cited by 34.5 per cent of parents, followed by the weight of books, the main concern for 21.7 per cent. Parents blamed the government for failing to keep prices down: 42 per cent gave the government a score of one out of five, and 26.1 per cent gave it two out of five. DAB legislator Starry Lee Wai-king said schools should increase the transparency of book selection. 'For example, schools could pass questionnaires to the parents or consult parent representatives at parent-teacher associations,' she said. Meanwhile, lawmakers at a Legislative Council education panel meeting yesterday urged the government to stop publishers transferring costs other than textbooks to parents. Education lawmaker Cheung Man-kwong said the trend - of publishers passing on promotional costs and gifts - must stop. He said a publisher had once said it had to produce 320 items of teaching materials, such as CDs and visual aids, to go with 72 primary Chinese language textbooks it was publishing. 'It's very expensive... teachers don't even find the time to make use of these extra teaching materials other than the core-teachers' handbooks,' Mr Cheung said. Other lawmakers pressed the government to promote the use of second-hand textbooks. Concern groups for low-income families called welfare assistance to include internet subscription fees, which had become a vital part of learning for students.