In the immediate post-Soviet communist period, investigators were eager to expose the privileged and wealthy life-style of Communist Party (CP) officials, lumping them all together both sociologically and chronologically. This created a false impression that all CP workers had always enjoyed material and other advantages ever since the Revolution. Using material from Siberian archives, the author suggests that, on the contrary, during the early 1920s, workers in the CP provincial, district and regional committees experienced severe material hardship, and often received no wages at all for long periods. The parlous condition of the Soviet economy as a whole at this time was reflected in the low, or non-existent, pay of Party functionaries, and in the inefficiency, confusions and tensions between the central authorities and regional officials struggling to carry out their Party work on a shoe-string, often living at barely subsistence levels. Various 'Party perks' - for example, in the form of free medical provision or low-cost housing - often existed on paper only. The small gains that were made, however, whetted an appetite for their enlargement and consolidation.