WITH $43,250 a month in wages, $63,000 for office expenses, and $10,000 for travel and entertainment, Legco members are in the top 11/2 per cent of the territory's wage-earners. Despite the $116,250 total cheque, they asked for an increase that would have brought them in line with high-level administrative government members, the Civil Service Pay Scales D4 category. That monthly salary works out to $104,750, representing an increase of more than 142 per cent. The government rejected their demands, declaring present wages as adequate. And it seems the overwhelming sentiment on the streets mirrors that opinion. The feeling is, understandably, especially strong among the lower-paid, some of whom take home less than one tenth of the legislators' current income. At the other end of the scale from the legislators are the hardworking, but far lower paid, workers of Mongkok. Saleswoman Carol Kwok Wai-king, 21, works in a boutique and earns $6,000 a month. 'It is totally absurd for part-time legislators to get such high pay. 'A saleslady who works on part-time basis can earn only $20 an hour, and we have to work for 11 hours a day. 'But I don't think those legislators have much work to do,' Miss Kwok said. Newspaper stand owner Wong Chong-yue, 60, said he was satisfied with the $10,000 a month he earned, admitting he was probably not capable of doing a legislator's job. However, he thought, 'the part-time nature of legislators' work just doesn't make them worth that much'. 'Unlike civil servants who devote all their time to their job, legislators just spend a few hours for discussion; they shouldn't require the same amount of money,' said Mr Wong. Next to a Mongkok MTR station entrance, hawker Yip Hong sells clocks and calculators. The physically handicapped man earns about $6,000 a month. Mr Yip said the legislators' salary 'is already a lot better than many people's'. On Tung Choi Street, Chan Kwok-kau, 56, squats on his haunches, every day, patiently waiting for customers whose shoes he will polish. 'It's definitely not easy to earn the $5,000-odd every month since I have to work rain or shine,' he said. Leung Chi-chiu, council member of the Senior Non-Expatriate Officer's Association, said the D4 pay scale parity that Legco members wanted would have left legislators earning more than many senior assistant directors in the civil service. It would also take 'a number of years' before new entrants to the civil service could reach the salary levels now enjoyed by Legco members, he said. Those entrants, with professional qualifications from tertiary institutions, would normally be ranked on the Master Pay Scale between 30 and 33. Monthly salaries in these categories would range from $30,225 to $34,690. How do Legco members' present monthly salaries compare with those of the private sector? Hongkong Bank pays its branch managers between $15,000 and $58,000 a month. According to Pamela George, Assistant Manager for External Affairs, the average manager at a busy branch would be at the higher end of that scale. Figures obtained from the Census and Statistics Department General Household Survey for the First Quarter 1994 show that 27,278 individuals out of 2,876,065 surveyed, earned an average of between $40,000 and $44,999 a month (including Chinese New Year bonus or double pay), representing only 0.95 per cent of all those surveyed. Individuals who were in that income bracket or higher represented 3.35 per cent of all those questioned. Occupations that could command such a monthly income might be assistant general managers, electrical engineers in the manufacturing sector at the upper end of the pay scale and accountants in the financial sector, according to government figures for last year. At the other end of the pay scale, the average monthly income for craftsmen, supervisory and technical, or non-management personnel, was $8,416, according to the government Half-yearly Report on Wage Statistics. That figure was 'based on a government survey of 40-odd companies', said a Census and Statistics Department spokesman.