Cadres in the richest village in Dongguan, in Guangdong province, make more than 300,000 yuan (HK$360,000) a year on average, the highest among all village-level officials in the city – and more than eight times the average income in the city – the Southern Metropolis Daily reports. The city, located just outside the provincial capital Guangzhou, was an industrial powerhouse during the boom years in the Pearl River Delta, but has fallen on leaner times as China’s export-led economy slows. In Yantian village, the most affluent residential community in Dongguan, the highest annual salary – 350,000 yuan – went to the head of the Communist Party Affairs Committee head, standing at 350,000 yuan, while other officials are at least paid 320,000 yuan a year, the newspaper found. According to the municipal bureau of statistics, the average annual wage in Dongguan last year was 36,000 yuan. Payroll statements than cadres in Huangyong village were paid 250,000 yuan a year. The paper launched its investigation after an online post revealed that grass-roots cadres in Changan township were paid more than 200,000 yuan, which internet users found surprisingly high. By comparison, in nearby Humen township, which ranked first in terms of economic power last year, the top village cadres’ yearly salary was 175,000 yuan, while in another area considered well-off, it was 128,000 yuan. Civil servants’ remuneration has been a contentious topic in recent years – many civil servants complain that their pay is too low, while many member of the public say it is too high, especially when various subsidies and allowances are included. Chen Weicai, vice-president of home appliance maker Gree Electric and formerly an official at the Guangzhou police bureau, noted at the annual session of the National People’s Congress last year that a deputy president of the Supreme People’s Court was paid only 200,000 yuan a year.