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Ec Legislatures: Salary Levels

Volume 590: debated on Monday 1 June 1998

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asked Her Majesty's Government:Which nations within the European Community have a bicameral legislature; what (in euros or ECUs) is the approximate annual salary of members of each; and whether the House of Lords is the only national legislative body within the European Community whose members serve without pay. [HL1757]

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office
(Baroness Symons of Vernham Dean)

Austria

Bicameral. The annual salary for Members of the Austrian Nationalrat (Lower House) is 1.4 million Schillings (i.e. approximately £70,000 or 100,719 ECU). The annual salary of members of the Bundesrat (Upper House) is 700,000 Schillings (i.e. approximately £35,000 or 50,359.50 ECU). Austrian MPs also receive substantial travel allowances depending on the distance of their main residence from Vienna.

Belgium

The Belgian Federal Legislature is bicameral, consisting of a House of Representatives and a Senate. Members of both houses receive the same pay: ECU 63,720 per annum (gross) ECU 47,408 (net), with an allowance for costs of ECU 17,830 per annum.

Denmark

Unicameral. Each MP receives approximate 48,800 ECU per annum. There are various non-taxable allowances to cover travel and other costs but these depend on the area represented and, for example, whether the MP sits on official committees.

Finland

Unicameral. MPs' monthly earnings are between Finnmarks 16,299 (ECU 2,717) and 20,816 (ECU 3.470) before tax, depending on length of service. (There are currently Finnmarks 8.8 to one pound sterling. ECU 1.467 = £1.)

France

Bicameral. The following figures are per month and gross. Deputies receive ECU 6,225 for staff, 5,250 for expenses and 6,167 to pay for staff. Senators are given ECU 4,873 for salary, 146 as a cost of living allowance, and 1,255 as a further allowance.

Germany

Members of the Bundestag receive a basic salary before tax and insurances of DM 12,350 per month (as at 1 April 1998). This comes to some ECU 93,988 p.a. (at DM 1.971 = ECU 1.00). This is supplemented by various allowances for office expenses; official travel; meals and accommodation; staff etc.

The Bundesrat is made up of representatives of the Lander, normally the Minister-President and senior Ministers of each Land. Members receive no salary in respect of their role in the Bundesrat. They are, however, paid their Ministerial salaries, allowances etc., by their respective Land Governments. They are reimbursed travel costs for attendance at meetings of the Bundesrat, its committees and certain other related bodies. They also receive a nominal flat rate daily expense allowance for attendance at such meetings. This was set at DM 80 per diem in September 1995, the latest date for which we have information.

Greece

Unicameral. The Greek Parliament is the equivalent of the House of Commons. Its members are elected by universal suffrage for a four-year period. The approximate annual salary is ECU 70,400.

Ireland

Members of the Dail are paid IR/36,648 (ECU 28,699) plus allowances, and Senators receive IR£22,885 (ECU 17,921) plus allowances (using a 1.277 exchange rate into ECUs.)

Italy

Bicameral. Members of both houses receive salaries consisting of annual basic pay (net of tax and social security contributions) and excluding allowances, extras and incentives, of approximately 55,612.7 ECU.

Luxembourg

Unicameral. Each member of the Chamber of Deputies receives FLux 2 million (approximately £40,000 or ECU 58,680), half of which is tax free.

The Netherlands

Bicameral. The Second Chamber is the Dutch equivalent of the House of Commons. The First Chamber sits one day per week and has Members who in general have their main job outside national politics. Gross basic annual salaries for Dutch MPs (excluding allowances) are as follows:

  • First Chamber: ECU 17,631
  • Second Chamber: ECU 72,243

Portugal

Unicameral. Members of the Assemblia da Republica receive a monthly remuneration of 614,600 escudos plus 61,500 in allowances. As is customary in Portugal, this is paid fourteen times a year, making an annual total of 9,465,400 escudos (£32,086 or ECU 47,091 at current rates).

Spain

Bicameral. The salaries below apply equally to the Congress and the Senate (except for ex-officio Members of the Senate, e.g. Presidents of regional governments who receive only their presidential salary).

Basic salary (taxable):

  • 403, 336 Pstas = 2,440 ECU

Allowances (tax free):

  • 225,266 pstas = 1,364 ECU (outside Madrid)
  • 102,484 pstas = 620 ECU (inside Madrid)

Sweden

Unicameral. Salaries (in ECU) are as follows:

MPs:41,162
Speaker and Prime Minister:111,628
Deputy Speaker53,512
Committee Chairs49,395
Deputy Chairmen47,337
MPs' bonus for accommodation in Stockholm5,581
MPs' bonus for administrative costs7,598