Govt shouldn’t recoup councillors’ salaries: Paul Tse

Pro-Beijing legislator Paul Tse on Thursday said authorities need not adopt a “harsh” approach to recover all the salaries given to district councillors who are disqualified for being unpatriotic.

Reports have indicated that the government is expected to tell district councillors to pledge allegiance to the SAR later this month, and as many as 230 pro-democracy councillors could be unseated for failing to meet the criteria.

According to media reports, the authorities may recoup salaries and allowances from councillors whose oaths are deemed invalid, if their previous actions come under a “negative list” of behaviour.

Speaking on Commercial Radio, Tse, who’s also a Wan Chai district councillor, said such a move would be unnecessary.

“They have served the people for a period of time, it may not necessary to use the strictest legal approach to recoup all the money back. But it’s up to the government,” he told the programme.

Tse also said that although some people may be unseated because of “minor mistakes,” they could still serve society and should not rule out standing in future Legco elections.

Pro-democracy candidates won by a landslide in district polls amid the social unrest of 2019, taking control of all but one of the city’s 18 councils.

But a number of them have since resigned or quit their parties after the oath-taking legislation was approved in May, while some charged with national security crimes have also stepped down.

Yau Tsim Mong councillor Owan Li announced on Thursday that he too had resigned.