| Global Times | 2012-6-13 1:05:08
By Global Times
Government employees in a sub-district in the city of Wuxi in Jiangsu Province have been told they will have to work without pay until a property development gets on better financial footing.
Staff at Huazhuang sub-district office received the news in a letter from the Taihucheng management commission on June 5.
Huazhuang is being redeveloped and the current demolition of old residential blocks is apparently consuming the local government's financial resources, reported the Beijing Morning Post on June 11.
"From this month onwards, Huazhuang office will temporarily stop paying wages to all staff," reads the letter, which offers to pay staff only living costs such as rent and transportation.
Government employees in several districts in Wuxi have had their salaries tied to the progress of real estate developments, an official close to the matter told the Beijing newspaper.
"If employees don't complete the demolition (of existing neighborhoods) on time, their salary will be delayed," he was quoted by the paper as saying.
"It is my reality to serve the people whole-heartedly without anything in return," a Huazhuang official joked sarcastically on his Weibo.
An official with the Taihucheng management commission said he did not know about the letter cutting the pay of the Huazhuang office staff.
"Some second- or third-tier city governments have become heavily dependent on the sale of land for financing their operations," an expert told the newspaper.
He said that excessive urban expansion has led to real estate developments that are not financially viable.
The cost of demolishing old neighborhood and providing new infrastructure services has left some governments deeply in debt, said the expert.
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