The government is trying to enter as evidence estimates that 'great numbers' of Filipino maids would become permanent Hong Kong residents in its fight against foreign domestic workers who are seeking right of abode. But a High Court judge called an impromptu hearing yesterday to ask the government why it had applied to file new evidence only weeks before a judicial review begins. Lawyers for Evangeline Banao Vallejos, a Filipino helper who has worked in Hong Kong for 25 years, objected to the government's application. Mr Justice Johnson Lam Man-hon did not grant permission to the government to file the affirmation. By its late action, the government risks being unable to file the information on the 'great social and policy impact' if the domestic workers win their case. The judge asked the parties to try to resolve the matter. If they could not, their arguments would be heard on August 16, when the court would hear an application by Vallejos to strike out the evidence. The judicial review is scheduled to begin on August 22. Last week the Democratic Alliance for the Betterment and Progress of Hong Kong released figures that said the city's unemployment rate would rise to 10 per cent, from the current 3.5 per cent, if the maids prevailed in their effort for permanent residency. The party cited a government estimate that 500,000 people could settle in Hong Kong, costing an extra HK$25 billion a year in social spending, if domestic workers were granted permanent residence.