China official spending on perks well under budget last year

Staff Writer
Columbus CEO

BEIJING (AP) — Amid an ongoing austerity drive, China's Finance Ministry says official spending on overseas travel, vehicles and entertainment was almost 15 percent less than budgeted last year.

A report on the ministry's website Wednesday said just 5.37 billion yuan ($826 million) was spent last year out of a budget of 6.31 billion ($970).

It said that although this year's budget for the three items is only slightly lower, spending will continue to be tightly controlled.

As China's economy slows, belt-tightening has been ordered across the government. President Xi Jinping has ordered officials to cut back on banquets and other non-essentials and has overseen a sweeping anti-corruption campaign that has further reduced spending and abuses of privilege.

The ministry said other factors, including changes in the international situation, also held down spending.