Chinese netizens complain about 30pc hike in civil servants‚Äô housing budgets
Chinese residents have taken to the internet to vent their anger at news that government agencies have raised living budgets for civil servants by nearly 30 percent for this year, while tens of millions struggle to afford property prices still far beyond their means.
There is a strong feeling of “bu shuang”, or unfairness, that the tax collected from personal incomes is used to guarantee “rich” civil servants homes.
As of Monday night, 14 governments have posted their financial budgets for 2012, reporting an average 30 percent increase in “housing security funds”, which are used to subsidize accommodation for civil servants.
Departments related to financial services were the biggest offenders. The China Insurance Regulatory Commission raised its budget 41 percent year-on-year while the banking regulator had the biggest overall budget -- 280.4 million yuan ($44.5 million).
Most bodies attributed the double-digit increase to an expansion in staff numbers -- an explanation many refuse to buy.
“The significant increase in housing subsidiaries has severely violated the principles of fairness and justice... It could kill the central government’s efforts to contain home prices and will definitely aggregate public displeasure,” said Shanghai-based Sina Weibo user Qin Peifeng.
“How about putting yourself in our shoes? Who should be pay for our homes?” asked Shaanxi-based Sina Weibo user Xiaoyao Zhang.
“It is not hard to understand. The government is encouraging ‘rigid demand’ for homes, and civil servants will definitely enjoy priorities,” vented Beijing-based Liubo.
But the often controversial benefits enjoyed by government employees are also a huge attraction for many.
This year 1.4 million candidates entered themselves for the National Civil Servant Examination, up from 30,000 people 11 years ago, while the number of the positions only tripled over the same period, according to the Beijing-based official Legal Evening News.