This page provides details of the pay and expenditure related to Scott’s work as an MEP and his tax return. Scott’s accounts are done by Linden Accountants and are available at the bottom of this page.
Europe often stands accused of providing an opportunity for elected MEPs to ride a ‘gravy train’. Such accusations tend to be based on misinformation or a hostile press and media pursuing an anti-European agenda. The information below seeks to provide an accurate picture of exactly what income MEPs receive in line with their work, so that a well-informed judgement can be made about the different budgets MEPs have.
It is important to make a clear distinction between salary, expenses and allowances. A salary is paid to an MEP in the same way as a salary is for any job. Expenses are based on money paid for such areas as travel and daily living allowances and then claimed back, while allowances are made available to pay staff costs, office rents, stationary and phone bills, for example.
The sections below seek to be as transparent as possible. Please contact Scott’s London Office if you feel there are any gaps or areas not covered adequately.
At present the monthly pre-tax salary for MEPs amounts to €8,758 which is the equivalent of an annual gross salary of €105,092. The salary level is based on 38.5% of the basic salary of a judge at the European Court of Justice and is changed in line with that salary. This was the level agreed with national governments. MEPs do not vote separately on their own salary.
The cost of MEP’s pay is met from the European Parliament’s budget and is subject to an EU tax and accident insurance contribution, after which the monthly salary is €6,827. Because the UK is outside the Eurozone, the actual monthly salary received by UK MEPs varies according to the monthly exchange rate.
UK MEPs pay National Insurance contributions and the difference between EU and national tax, so the total amount of tax is based on an equivalent UK salary.
Prior to July 2009 MEPs were paid at a rate equivalent to MPs in the country they represent, leading to huge discrepancies between MEPs from, for example, Poland and Italy. Scrapping this in favour of equal salaries helped push through reforms of the allowances and expenses system.
Scott makes a voluntary contribution of 10% of his net salary to the Green Party.
The European Parliament’s total budget represents about 1% of all EU expenditure. About one fifth of that 1% is allocated to MEPs’ total expenditure at present. Each Member of the European Parliament is entitled to claim the following allowances, which are paid from the Parliament’s budget.
This is formally called the General Expenditure Allowance. For 2014 this allowance was €4,299 per month and as at January 1st 2019 was set at €4,513 per month. The precise amount received depends on the exchange rate at the time of each payment. It is used for expenditure such as constituency office rent, telephone and postal charges, and IT costs. The allowance is halved if an MEP fails to attend at least half of the Strasbourg plenary sessions, unless prior permission has been sought, for example on the grounds of illness or for maternity leave.
A summary of Scott’s annual general allowance expenses which lists receipts for items over £100 will be available soon. Items of expenditure between £25 and £100 can be made available on request from Scott’s London office.
This is formally called the Parliamentary Assistance Allowance. The maximum amount available is €24,943 per month as at 1 July 2018 and must be spent on ‘human resources’: people to assist MEPs in their Parliamentary work. It is not paid to the MEPs themselves. This allowance can cover staff employed on a long-term (the five years that a Parliament lasts) or temporary basis, and covers this possibilities such as consultancy and research.
It also covers all the related costs such as national insurance, tax, pension, training and staff expenses, should they be asked to travel to Strasbourg, for example. MEPs can also use it to cover expenses for those on work experience. Members have to demonstrate to Parliament’s authorities that staff are covered for tax and social security payments.
The Parliamentary Assistance Allowance cannot be paid directly to the MEPs themselves. Scott uses Linden Accountants as a Paying Agent to administer UK staff resources and contracts. The contracts for Brussels based staff and stagiaires (interns) are administered and paid directly by the Parliament.
The contract with Linden Accountants is regulated by the Parliamentary authorities. At the end of each calendar year, through his Paying Agent, Scott provides a detailed reconciliation of the monies received for Parliamentary Assistance to the European Parliament. These are reviewed by the Parliamentary authorities and formally signed off if correct.
Scott’s team is currently made up of four people, all working full time.
- One Parliamentary Assistants working 37.5 hours a week;
- Media Officer working 37.5 hours a week.
- Constituency Coordinator and Researcher working 37.5 hours a week;
- Public Engagement Officer working 37.5 hours a week.
MEPs cannot have close relatives among their staff.
Daily Attendance Allowance
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 €320 per day, and is payable for each day MEPs attend an official Parliamentary meeting or are present at an EU institution (Luxembourg, Brussels or Strasbourg) during an official working day for work purposes. No receipts are required as this is a lump-sum payment, made if MEPs sign the official register or an attendance list.
During official visits outside the EU, MEPs are paid 50% of the daily attendance allowance plus accommodation costs. During official plenaries of the Parliament, the amount is halved if a Member is not present for 50% of the roll-call votes.
This allowance is for travel to the Parliament both in Brussels and in Strasbourg and for official meetings. On presentation of receipts MEPs are refunded the actual cost of any travel tickets purchased. They are also entitled to time and distance allowances for attending official Parliamentary meetings. Under the current rules, travel within the UK should now be claimed directly from the European Parliament and MEPs are entitled to 24 journeys a year. This does not cover the number of constituency journeys made by Scott in a year so the time and distance travel allowance monies are used to support these important constituency visits.
Personal Travel Allowance
Each member can claim up to €4,454 per year for personal travel allowance outside the member state of election, payable against receipts/proofs of expenditure. This is intended to enable members to accept invitations outside usual places of work or make their own fact-finding journeys outside their own Member State.