AN all-party bid by legislators to freeze rates for the next two years was defeated yesterday when Governor Chris Patten rejected their demand to table amendments to the Government's rates revenue. Under the constitution, the Governor's decision is final and legislators cannot proceed further on the issue. In a letter to United Democrat legislator Dr Huang Chen-ya, Mr Patten said that he did not agree to the amendments because they would ''overturn a key element of the Government's budget'' and ''seriously undermine the credibility of the Government''. On a separate occasion yesterday, Mr Patten indirectly criticised legislators for picking up the wrong issue and emphasised that the rates level was not a major concern to the public since it accounted for only 2.1 per cent of the household income. ''I don't think that on this occasion, the political parties have identified one of the highest issues on people's agenda,'' he said. But legislators from the three major political parties who launched the ''crusade'' on rates were greatly disappointed by the Governor's reply. They claimed that Mr Patten's decision was disrespectful to the Legislative Council and public opinion. Dr Huang said the Governor's ruling had actually turned Legco into a ''rubber stamp'' which had no power to check public finance. ''I think the Governor's decision has clearly told legislators that the Government is going backwards to the colonial path and legislators have no way to control the Government,'' said Dr Huang. Liberal Party legislator James Tien Pei-chun accused the Government of double standards in handling the rates issue and the political reform bill. He said the Government had used legislators as the spearhead in pushing through controversial electoral proposals and yet snubbed legislators on the rates case. The three major parties - the Liberals, United Democrats and Meeting Point - have all pledged to show their displeasure with the Government decision by abstaining from voting on the rates bill when it is tabled for approval at tomorrow's Legco session. Mr Tien said the parties could not vote against the bill because this would mean the 20 per cent ceiling for rate increase would be waived and the public would instead face a 34 per cent increase. The United Democrats will, however, try to keep their campaign going by tabling a motion debate on the issue. The debate will probably be held next month.