Keith’s Pay and Allowances
MEPs receive a salary and allowances which help them to carry out their parliamentary work and represent their constituents. There is no formal requirement from the parliament for MEPs to disclose their expenditure, but Keith wants to be as open as possible about his spending and so publishes an itemised spending summary and all office expenditure receipts over £50. Keith has also been active campaigning for reform to the MEP allowance system.
Keith is a member of the Green/EFA group in the European Parliament. The group has consistently called for reform and greater transparency for the MEP allowances system. All Green MEPs have committed to following the Green/EFA code of conduct. This code includes committing to full transparency and accountability, pledging to use the travel allowance in the most economic manner possible, only claiming subsistence when a significant proportion of the day has been spent in the European Parliament and publishing invoices and receipts for at least 50% of all office costs.
Greens continue to campaign to abolish the European Parliament’s monthly move to Strasbourg, which is both hugely costly and environmentally damaging.
The Greens are also campaigning for the introduction of transparent rules on the funding of political parties.
All MEPs receive a monthly pre-tax salary of €7,957. They pay EU tax and accident insurance contributions, after which the monthly salary is €6,201. UK MEPs also pay National Insurance contributions under the UK system as well as the difference between EU and national tax. MEPs’ basic salary is set at 38.5% of the salary of a judge at the European Court of Justice.
Keith’s staff members are paid from a budget called the ‘parliamentary allowance’. This allowance covers staff salaries as well as associated costs such as pensions, national insurance, tax and training. This allowance can also be used to cover temporary staff costs and expenses for interns and volunteers.
The maximum staff allowance available for each MEP is €19,703 a month. MEPs do not receive any of this money directly. Brussels based staff costs are administrated by the European Parliament and UK based staff costs are administrated by a paying agent.
Keith currently has a full time Constituency Coordinator and Media Officer based in the UK and a full time Parliamentary Assistant based in Brussels. He also has three part time Regional Liaison Officers based in Brighton, Oxford and Portsmouth and an Intern based in Brussels. None of Keith’s employees are relatives. See Keith’s most recent spending summary for information on his staff costs including staff pay bands.
Keith receives an allowance called the ‘general expenditure allowance’ to cover his office costs. This includes expenditure on the constituency office rent, phones, IT and utility bills. MEPs receive €4,299 a month to cover these costs and they have to account for how the money is spent. Any money which is not spent is returned to the European Parliament at the end of the year. The allowance is halved if an MEP fails to attend at least half of the Strasbourg plenary sessions, without seeking prior permission not to attend, for example due to illness.
Keith is committed to transparency so he has chosen to publish all receipts for office expenditure of £50 and over on his website. Receipts for £20 and over are also available on request. See Keith’s most recent spending summary summary for information on Keith’s recent expenditure on office costs.
Keith is refunded for the cost of travel from his constituency to Brussels or Strasbourg on presentation of his tickets. He also receives a fixed allowance based on the distance and duration of the journey to cover other travel costs when attending official parliamentary meetings. Keith can also claim for travel within the constituency on presentation of his tickets. See Keith’s most recent spending summary for information on Keith’s travel costs.
Keith travels by rail and public transport and avoids air travel whenever possible. While recognising that off-setting flights is not a solution in itself, Keith does think that, when combined with serious effort to choose the most sustainable form of transport for any given journey, it can have a role to play. Keith therefore chooses to personally fund carbon offsetting for any flights he has to take as part of his Parliamentary duties and publishes the relevant offsetting certificates.
Occasionally Keith may need to travel outside the UK, Brussels or Strasbourg. For example he is a member of the parliamentary delegations to Afghanistan, Palestine and Iran which may involve some travel abroad. Official delegation travel is covered by the European Parliament. Keith also can claim for travel, accommodation and associated expenses for other visits up to an annual limit of €4243. To claim these travel costs MEPs must present their tickets and documents.
Accommodation & food
Because MEPs are required to move frequently between their constituencies and the European Parliament’s two main places of work (Brussels and Strasbourg), they can claim a subsistence allowance to cover expenses such as hotel rooms and/or flat rental and meals. This allowance is a payment of €304 per day. It is made if the MEP signs the official register or the attendance list at the official meeting. During parliament’s plenary sessions, the amount is halved if an MEP is not present for 50% of the roll-call votes.
Parliament pays a sum of €152 a day, plus accommodation and breakfast expenses, for attendance at meetings held outside the European Community, provided that the MEP signs the official attendance register for the meeting.