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End of lavish entertainments

China Daily | Updated: 2013-08-16 09:14

Five ministries recently issued a joint notice that prohibits local governments from organizing expensive entertainments and advocates celebrating festivals in a simple manner. This is a good move to put an end to their indulgences at taxpayers' expense, says an editorial in People's Daily. Excerpts:

With the development of the economy, many local governments have acquired the habit of spending public money on themselves. Especially during festivals, it seems they are engaged in a competition to see which one can waste the most money. It is no longer rare for them to spend tens of millions of yuan on a single entertainment performance.

Such luxury, instead of symbolizing cultural prosperity, only exposes problems. The money for luxurious performances comes mainly from taxpayers; spending on the entertainment of officials means there is less money available to raise the living standards of ordinary people, especially as the economy is now slowing. There are 128 million people in the country who still live in poverty, while the average per capita GDP lags well behind that of developed countries. The people's needs are more pressing than the desire of officials to be entertained.

That's why the recent joint notice of the five ministries is a welcome move. Prohibiting local governments from staging luxurious entertainments will save public money that can be used to improve people's lives, and help the central government in its efforts to curb the extravagant spending of local officials. We hope more measures to promote a more frugal work style will follow in the future, so that local governments can win back people's trust.

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