The South West has just elected six new MEPs to take their seats, albeit probably briefly, in the European Parliament.
Well, more like two out of five people living in the region voted for the half a dozen new MEPs.
It is set to be quite a short-term role with the UK set to leave the EU on October 31.
But, over that time they will pocket tens of thousands of pounds as they fulfill their duties to their new constituents.
In those few months they could still earn close to £50,000 in their new jobs.
How much will the new MEPs be paid?
Every MEP earns a flat rate of €8,757.70 per month which on day of publication is about £7,714.57.
They are not due to take up their seats until July 2 so if Brexit goes ahead of plans they will only be in place for four months, pocketing £30,866 in the process.
But, in reality the amount they take home per month is closer to £6,011.94 after EU taxes and insurance contrbutuion.
This gets reduced further because they also pay UK National Insurance contributions and income tax to make sure they are taxed at the same people employed in the UK.
They also get a daily allowance
In addition to the salary, MEPs are also entitled to a daily allowance of €320 (£281.88). This is supposed to cover hotel bills, meals etc while they are in Brussels or Strasbourg on “official business”.
They are not required to provide receipts for their stay but do have to sign a register to confirm they attended. This pocket money is then halved if they miss more than half the roll-call votes on days when plenary votes are held.
Therefore if the MEPs attend 60 days and vote in more than 50% of votes between July 2 and August 31 they will receive an additional £16,912.
What about travel expenses?
(Image: Bristol Post)
Clearly working for a multinational organisation MEPs are going to be travelling a lot.
The most common trip is from their home country to Brussels or Strasbourg where votes, debates, committee meeting and political group meetings are held. They can also claim for travel within their own country.
Providing they have a receipt, the new members will receive a full refund on their travel equating to:
- Business class air travel
- First class rail fair
- 47p a km for road travel (up to 1,000km)
On top of this there are fixed allowances based on the distance and duration of the journey to cover other costs of travelling (such as motorway tolls, excess baggage charges or reservation fees).
MEPs will also receive the following:
- Two thirds of any medial expenses paid
- £3,975 allowance to cover expenses like office rent, telephone, IT and conferences. This is halved they attend less than 50% of plenary sittings over a year.
- When they finish they are entitled to a “transition allowance” (based on their length of service) equivalent to one month’s salary for every year (two max) they were in office. If the UK leaves in October UK MEPs are not eligable.
How is their pay set?
The MEPs basic salary is set at 38.5% of the basic salary of a judge at the European Court of Justice.