Lawmakers have passed a non-binding motion demanding the future Minimum Wage Commission review the statutory minimum wage level once a year. Scrutinising the minimum wage bill yesterday, lawmakers discussed the role and function of the commission that will advise the Chief Executive on the minimum hourly wage rate. The government did not stipulate that the commission should review the wage level every year but only said it had the right to decide the timing and frequency of the reviews. Unionist legislator Lee Cheuk-yan said the government should specify that the commission must evaluate the wage level once a year. 'If the rate is not reviewed every year, workers' wages may not be able to catch up with the rising living standard and improving economy,' he said. Lee said the minimum wage rate could rise or fall after each review. 'We should show low-income workers that their opinion has been considered by the Minimum Wage Commission and the government,' he said. Another unionist legislator, Li Fung-ying, agreed. 'The minimum wage rate should be assessed like the wage level of civil servants, that there is a clear mechanism and it is reviewed every year,' she said. Deputy labour commissioner Alan Wong Kwok-lun said the government considered it unnecessary to specify that the commission should review the wage rate every year. 'Hong Kong is an open economy that will be affected by many outside factors. We think we should allow some flexibility that we do not have to write down when a review should be carried out,' he said. Tommy Cheung Yu-yan, the lawmaker representing the catering sector, said the commission should comprise a balanced number of academics, businessmen and workers.