Due to tight budget conditions, a wave of salary cuts for civil servants has been spreading across China. As a result, public security, the most crowded force of civil servants, is expected to be hit hard.

A report on June 15 found that civil servants in many cities and provinces on the mainland have encountered salary cuts.

For example, in Shanghai, the annual salary of department-level civil servants has been reduced from 350,000 yuan to 200,000 yuan (1 yuan = 0.15 dollars); the pay at the division level has been reduced from 240,000 yuan to 150,000 yuan.

In Guangdong, some areas have begun to stop issuing subsidies for civil servants and only guarantee the payment of basic wages.

Zhejiang province also cut the salaries of the civil servants of some government agencies and institutions by about 25%. Hangzhou, its capital and largest city saw a cut of 40%.

A number of the mainland media reported that some civil servants in Jiangsu and Fujian had experienced salary cuts, ranging from 15% to 20%.

Salaries of civil servants in Zhuhai decreased by 60,000-80,000 yuan, and in Shenzhen by 50,000-100,000 yuan.

The civil servants in Beijing and Tianjin have also seen their income cut amid a more demanding economic environment.

In China, civil service examinations have been a significant trend for university graduates for years. As a result, college students have flocked to the system.

However, with the layoffs of sectors under the impact of the Covid epidemic, the system has entered a cold winter.

Over the past several days, the salary cuts have occupied Baidu’s hot search list and caused heated discussion among netizens.

One person lamented that even civil servants have had their salaries cut, making it harder for people in other sectors.

Another said that the most extensive civil servant body in China is the police, meaning the public security force would be the most hit.

A commentator said that the Chinese Communist Party organizations and government agencies are overcrowded and have nothing to do all day. 

Corruption is commonplace.

Civil servants, also known as public servants, are facing lower salaries as China’s sluggish economy puts downward pressure on the state budget.

In the past decade, China’s fiscal revenue has bid farewell to double-digit growth, while fiscal expenditure has risen yearly. As a result, the gap between fiscal income and spending has generally been increasing.

In 2020, due to the impact of the Covid pandemic, the fiscal revenue was reduced, and the budget deficit reached a historical peak of 6.27 trillion yuan.

In September 2021, the Chinese Academy of Fiscal Sciences released a fiscal policy report. They forecast that the fiscal revenue and expenditure gap will narrow to about 4.7 trillion yuan (about 700 billion dollars) in 2021 without considering reform but will increase in the next few years. The academy predicts the deficit will reach approximately 10.7 trillion yuan (about 1.6 trillion dollars) in 2025.

On June 14, there were reports in China’s media that Jiangsu, Zhejiang, and Shanghai had set up salary reduction offices. They plan to adjust salaries in line with local fiscal revenue this time. 

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