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To think MEPs expenses are beyond ridiculous

25 replies

TheCircleFan75 · 26/09/2018 10:30

€4000 a month and they don’t have to provide a single receipt? This is on top of their €8611 monthly salary. I’m not concerned about the salary

OP posts:
MrsChollySawcutt · 26/09/2018 15:58

No not really, what you have left out is the double dip tax paid by MEPs - they pay tax to both the EU and HMRC, reducing that juicy looking salary to a take home of around £3900. Still a good salary but less than UK MPs.

At present, an MEP’s salary is set at €8020.53 per month before tax. This is first taxed by the European Union, reducing it to €6250.37. The remainder is then further taxed by HMRC in the UK to ensure that British MEPs pay the same level of tax and National Insurance as people employed in the UK. Deductions are also made for life insurance and medical insurance.
The final take-home pay for British MEPs varies from month to month based on the exchange rate. At the moment, it’s roughly £3900. This amount was slightly less than a British MP’s salary when it was agreed, but it fluctuates depending on the strength of the pound against the euro. When the pound is weak, MEPs end up earning slightly more than their Westminster counterparts. When it’s strong, they earn less.

Treats · 26/09/2018 16:04

You’re also missing that they do a great deal of travelling. A British MEP will spend the bulk of their week in Brussels but will also need to spend time in their constituency (which is considerably larger than a Parliamentary constituency). Travel and accommodation costs are phenomenal. I don’t know the ins and outs but I imagine they evolved the no receipts system because otherwise the admin involved would be hideous.

FishesaPlenty · 26/09/2018 16:12

MrsChollySawcutt I'm prepared to be shown to be wrong but I suspect you're talking bollocks.

Tax affairs of MEPs is obviously a very specialised subject, but there are basic principles involved.

Is double taxation within the EU something reserved exclusively for MEPs then? Nobody else in the EU has to pay tax on their income in two different EU countries.

scaryteacher · 26/09/2018 16:15

To be fair, Brussels is expensive in terms of finding somewhere to stay; either if you are renting an apartment, or even staying in one of the cheaper hotels in the centre. It's cheaper out at Diegem, but then they have to schlep into the centre to get to Schuman. Convenient for NATO, but not for the EU quartier.

Eating out is pricy as well, unless you stick to MaccyDs, Pizza Hut or Quick, although there are have subsidised restaurants for those employed by the EU.

Public transport is about the cheapest thing here imo, and I've been here for 13 years!

MrsChollySawcutt · 26/09/2018 16:16

Thanks for your assertion that I'm talking bollocks. Proof here:

And here

Try using google before being rude next time.

Mistigri · 26/09/2018 16:20

I suspect you're talking bollocks.

Usually wise to google first.

scaryteacher · 26/09/2018 16:21

FishesaPlenty You'll have to apologise to MrsCholly

Unhomme · 26/09/2018 16:22

It's hardly double dip taxes though. They still pay a tax rate equivalent to a UK employee.

But they can also claim €300+ per day attendance allowance...

And all travel costs paid for, plus 'time and distance' on top...

And €4000 per year travel costs.

It does seem quite lucrative...

wurzelburga · 26/09/2018 16:26

@Mrs Cholly

I think you have forgotten the daily allowances, staffing costs (often paid to family members/ members of other MEP families) travel allowances, free schooling for children at the European School, pension allowances, re-settlement grants etc. It’s about the whole package not the basic salary.

MEPs are very well paid for what they do.

StatisticallyChallenged · 26/09/2018 16:27

I just looked treats and this is separate to travel - this is their expenses to run an office. Travel is receipted; they can claim for first class and 313 euros per night hotel in addition

MEPs do pay tax in two places but receive a credit for the tax paid to the EC, so effectively they end up paying the same as a UK employee on that salary would pay. It's not really double dip taxing at all and taking a guess at when those figures were from (looks to be around 2014/15) the stated £3900 after tax, life insurance and medical looks to be in line with what someone in the UK on that salary would have taken home.

Mistigri · 26/09/2018 16:29

How are MEPs to get between their (very large) constituencies and the European Parliament? I haven't checked the figures quoted by the PP but they seem surprisingly small.

I do France-UK once a month for four days at a time, and that probably costs my employer the best part of €10k a year (and I stay at premier inns and often fly Ryanair).

Angrybird345 · 26/09/2018 16:29

They take le pis!

wurzelburga · 26/09/2018 16:30

The tax free daily allowance of c 300 euros a day is what most MEPs live off.

I would love to have an extra 300/day for actually turning up to do my job.

Especially if I could just sign the register in the morning and then go home for the day.

Bombardier25966 · 26/09/2018 16:31

@Unhomme The attendance allowance is a subsistence allowance, and covers the cost of accommodation and other living expenses. Brussels is a very expensive city.

There is no set €4000 for travel. That is claimed according to cost, so no profit in it for the individual.

scaryteacher · 26/09/2018 16:31

Living in Belgium is not cheap, if it can be taxed, it is, so VAT on books, 21% VAT on gas and electricity as opposed to the 5% in the UK. Rent is expensive, and is a lucrative market for landlords.

Bombardier25966 · 26/09/2018 16:33

Especially if I could just sign the register in the morning and then go home for the day.

You can't. They can tell if you disappear during the day because you'll miss votes, and if you do your allowance is halved.

Unlike in the House of Lords, where you can effectively be paid to sleep.

scaryteacher · 26/09/2018 16:34

Mistigri If UK MEPs, then I would assume Eurostar, if you can book far enough in advance, it isn't extortionate; neither are the ferry crossings if you block book.

RayRayBidet · 26/09/2018 16:36

Not sure why you care given that the UK is leaving.
It won't matter then.

Clockwork95 · 26/09/2018 16:40

I think MEP expenses are pretty generous, yes. There is also very limited scrutiny compared to what UK MPs experience.

I've lived in Brussels and didn't find it anywhere near as expensive as London.

StatisticallyChallenged · 26/09/2018 16:41

It looks like they can claim:

General expenditure allowance - this is the one the OP is talking about and is non receipted and to cover the costs of running an office. It's around £4k per month give or take allowing for exchange rates etc

Staff costs - a maximum of around £21-£22k per month to pay for their staff

Daily attendance allowance - the 30o ish euros per day flat rate which is paid for every day they sign the attendance log, to cover accomodation etc

Travel - actual rail/plane/bus/mileage for getting around

a roughly £4k per year personal travel allowance for extra bits of travel outside of Strasbourg/Brussels/constituency

I think anyway!

StatisticallyChallenged · 26/09/2018 16:42

Oh - as far as I can see the general expenditure allowance and the daily attendance don't require receipts. Everything else does.

FishesaPlenty · 26/09/2018 16:49

FishesaPlenty You'll have to apologise to MrsCholly

Apparently not, according to later posts. It's quite basic that you don't pay tax on the same income in more than one jurisdiction, unless there's no agreement between them - which is unlikely within the EU.

I'll just go away and choke over their expenses though!


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wurzelburga · 26/09/2018 16:52


The signing in and sloping off is an ongoing scandal.

They deny it until caught on camera.

wurzelburga · 26/09/2018 16:54


Rents in Brussels are much lower than most other European capital cities.

scaryteacher · 26/09/2018 17:06

@wurzelburga There is a reason we don't have a home in London, but well away from it in the UK!

Even on the outskirts Brussels prices are extortionate, and it's not just the rents, but the on costs as a tenant that one doesn't have in the UK, and then the rapacious gouging nature of the average Belgian landlord when one moves out. Many international friends find Brussels prices mind boggling, and think themselves lucky to get out with a €1000 to pay on exit.

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