MEPs receive a salary and allowances which helps them to carry out their parliamentary work and represent their constituents.
As of 2016, all MEPs receive a monthly pre-tax salary of €8,484.05. They pay EU tax and accident insurance contributions, after which the monthly salary is €6,611.47. UK MEPs also pay National Insurance contributions under the UK system and the difference between EU and national tax. MEPs’ basic salary is set at 38.5% of the basic salary of a judge at the European Court of Justice. At present, there is no formal requirement for MEPs to disclose their expenditure, but Keith believes in Transparency. He publishes an itemised spending summary and all office expenditure receipts over £25. Keith continues to actively campaign for reform to the MEP allowance system.
- Keith’s spending summary, receipts and certificates
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 €24,164 a month. MEPs do not receive any of this money directly. Brussels-based staff costs are administered by the European Parliament and UK-based staff costs are administered by a paying agent.
Keith currently has a Constituency Coordinator and a Media Officer based in the UK and four Parliamentary Assistants based in Brussels. He also has four part-time Regional Liaison Officers covering Surrey, Sussex, Oxfordshire, Berkshire, Buckinghamshire, Hampshire, and the Isle of Wight. Keith's Constituency Coordinator covers Kent. 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 a so-called ‘general expenditure allowance’ to cover his office costs. This includes expenditure on the constituency office rent, phones, IT and utility bills.
MEPs receive €4,342 a month to cover these costs. Keith’s office publishes receipts for this money. The allowance is halved if an MEP fails to attend at least half of the Strasbourg plenary sessions, without seeking prior permission, for example, due to illness.
Keith is committed to transparency so he has chosen to publish all receipts for office expenditure of £25 and over on his website. See Keith’s most recent spending summary for information office expenditure.
Keith is reimbursed for the cost of travel from between his constituency and Brussels, or Strasbourg, on presentation of the presentation of evidence.
Keith 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 evidence. Keith is a Green MEP and, naturally, travels by rail and public transport, avoiding air travel whenever possible.
Keith recognises that carbon offsetting flights is not a solution, he does think that, however, when combined with a serious and committed effort to choose the most sustainable form of transport for any given journey, it can play a role. 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 EU. For example, he is a member of the parliamentary delegation to Palestine which sometimes involves travel abroad. This 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 €4264. To claim these travel costs MEPs must present their tickets and documents.
See Keith’s most recent spending summary for information on Keith’s travel costs.
Accommodation and 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 €306 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 €153 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.
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.
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.
The Greens/EFA group uses the LobbyCal system to openly record all of the meetings its MEPs have with groups, organisations or firms that could be considered lobbyists.