Socialist scholar urges transparency over perks for retired state leaders

PUBLISHED : Monday, 16 December, 2013, 2:11pm
UPDATED : Monday, 16 December, 2013, 2:11pm

A Fudan scholar and member of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC) has called for the Communist Party to disclose information about perks enjoyed by retired state leaders, Beijing Youth Daily reported.

Ge Jianxiong, a leading socialist, said he received a reply from the party’s central organisation about a question he tabled in March about the standards of perks for retired state leader. The organisation confirmed to him that they are revising the standards, he said.

In a pledge to streamline government work and curb extravagance, China has released several regulations that govern the spending habit of party officials.

Ge’s proposal aims to increase transparency using a standardised system for the different types of perks officials can have at different levels of government.

Bureaucrat retirees in China enjoy a variety of perks, including but not limited to housing, transportation, medical services, secretaries, security guards, chefs, and receptions. Ge’s proposal focuses on the specifications, for example which perks should be enjoyed while in office, which ones should last a lifetime, at which government level retirees can gain access to certain benefits, and how much of the perks family members can enjoy, etc.

In an interview with the Beijing Youth Daily, Ge said: “I suggested they look at how retired leaders in US, Russia are treated. For example, when an American president leaves office, he and his family can enjoy secret service protection for life, but the Vice President doesn’t have such privileges.”

“No matter how good the proposal, if there is no oversight then there is no use. The government is amending the welfare treatment of provincial-level officials and researching the welfare treatment of state leaders, these two provisions should be transparent to the public once they have been completed,” Ge was quoted saying.