Leaked information about civil servants in Lengshuijiang, Hunan province, has revealed that being an official in the CCP is an extraordinarily poorly paying career. According to the stats, a “vast majority of local civil servants earn 2,001 to 4,000 yuan” per month.
It turns out that 84% of Lengshuijiang officials are making between 2,000 and 4,000 RMB per month on the books and, with a salary that low, accepting a bribe or two seems more like charity than corruption. There are, of course, many subsidies that come along with being an official; some have government-supplied transportation, reduced housing, health coverage, and the like. Nevertheless, considering the massive numbers of people who sit for the civil service exams each year, one would expect the benefits to be a bit better than this.
Caveat: we have to be a bit cautious here, as the China Daily has run this story. If the Daily will run it, then somebody, somewhere, must think that this casts the government in a favorable light. “Oh look at our officials, they’re really just grassroots people like everybody else” or some such.
With that in mind, the Daily quotes a poorly paid Hubei official:
Chen Juzhen, Party chief of Zhulin town, Hubei province, said he only earns 2,400 yuan each month, saying, “Any migrant worker earns more money than me.” His comment triggered hot discussion on the Internet.
Our sympathy doesn’t typically line up on the sides of Chinese officialdom, but one has to feel a bit sorry for a paperwork-laden, oft-hated bureaucrat who would have to save for months to buy a new cellphone, let alone a car or house.