Austerity measures

Chinese civil servant's article calling for government to sack half of its staff goes viral

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 23 January, 2014, 12:08pm
UPDATED : Thursday, 23 January, 2014, 12:43pm

A mainland civil servant’s article calling for the government to sack half of its staff went viral online before it was eventually deleted.

“The government will work properly or even much better if [we] cut half of the staff members and offices of the county government,” Li Changjin, who described himself as working as a civil servant for 34 years, said.

“Generally, the work for the government servants is too easy… and [you] can hardly find out someone who work at their full capacities for eight hours a day”, he wrote.

Government officials have often been criticised for being too bureaucratic on the mainland. However, since President Xi Jinping took office last year, he has repeatedly called for curbs of bribes and government spending, and for officials to stop “talking nonsense” at government meetings.

Li called for a policy regulating the income of government servants, as the ban on bribes, which prohibits public servants from accepting gifts and prizes especially before the Chinese New Year, has affected the wages of the majority of lower-level government servants in the middle and western areas.

Li said he earned a total of 35,000 yuan (HK$44,500) each year but that this year he would be without year-end benefits of around 5,000 to 6,000 yuan.

Li’s article was soon deleted on Wednesday on most of mainland’s news portals, but not before it was widely circulated on social media.

The article came at a time when the Shenzhen discipline authority said that it was investigating a government servant who had been exposed for driving a government car to play golf every weekend.

Fu Xianda, the director of the secretariat of government office administration in Shenzhen, admitted to the Southern Metropolis Daily on Tuesday that he did drive a Camry car owned by the office to play golf every weekend, but argued that he did not breach the law.

“There’s no rules regulating how to use public cars,” Fu was quoted as saying, after the Southern Metropolis Reference, an internal newspaper for government officials, broke the news.

A poll by on Wednesday afternoon revealed that almost 70 per cent of the public voted for laying off half of government staff.