Hundreds of pro-democracy lawmakers and district councillors have urged the government to scrap a proposed pay rise for the embattled police force.

Hong Kong has seen six months of large-scale protests. Initially against the now-withdrawn extradition bill, protesters are now focused on wider demands including an independent investigation of the police force for alleged brutality.

The Legislative Council’s Finance Committee will discuss pay adjustments for civil servants on Friday.

Tanya Chan
Tanya Chan. File Photo:

Civic Party lawmaker Tanya Chan, convener of the pro-democracy camp, said 24 pro-democracy lawmakers and 390 incumbent district councillors and councillors-elect have signed a petition urging the government to separate the police pay rise from those due for other civil servants.

“We hope the controversial pay raise for police will not affect discussion on other pay raises,” Chan said. “Sadly the government has denied our request, saying that there was no past precedent. It did not explain how was it was a violation of rules and laws.”

Chan added that, in May, the city’s disciplinary forces requested that their pay raise be separated from other items, since they should receive a higher hike in salary.

October 1 china extradition march
Photo: Studio Incendo.

Back then, the Disciplined Services Consultative Council requested a minimum of a seven per cent pay rise – higher than the government pay raise of 5.26 per cent for civil servants in the lower and middle salary bands.

Democratic Party lawmaker Roy Kwong said the police force received the lowest satisfaction rating among all disciplinary forces in a recent survey, with 40 per cent of the respondents giving zero marks.

“To give a pay raise to the police is to be the enemy of the Hong Kong people,” he said.

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Kris Cheng is a Hong Kong journalist with an interest in local politics. His work has been featured in Washington Post, Public Radio International, Hong Kong Economic Times and others. He has a BSSc in Sociology from the Chinese University of Hong Kong. Kris is HKFP's Editorial Director.