From those wonderful chaps over at the taxpayers alliance comes a shocking report that has been held in secret.
New research for the TaxPayers' Alliance and The Great European Rip-Off reveals that MEPs stand to get a 47% increase in their take home pay this year. Through a combination of increasing pay levels, a new lower tax rate for all EU officials and the plunging value of the Pound to the Euro, politicians in Brussels will see their pay rise hugely despite the rising unemployment being suffered by their consituents. As well as their soaring pay, the new book demonstrates that over and above their salaries an MEP can personally earn a further £1 million during a typical Parliamentary term through their generous allowances and expenses. The research note can be read here.
After the European Elections in June 2009, British MEPs stand to get a 47% increase in their take home pay. MEPs currently earn the same as a Westminster MP, £63,291, on which they pay British income tax of 26%, leaving them £46,835 in take home pay. Three crucial changes in their pay arragements will increase their salaries sizeably:
i) After June, all MEPs will move to a new, standardised salary of €91,980 - at 2008 exchange rates, that is a pay rise of 16% to £73,584.
ii) At the same time, they will cease to pay British income tax and will instead pay a new, reduced EU tax of only 15%, boosting their take home pay to €78,183. At 2008 exchange rates that means their after-tax pay will increase from £46,835 to £62,546 - a 33% rise.
iii) The new MEPs' salary will be paid in Euros, which have gained greatly in value against Sterling since 2008. If exchange rates stay at around €1:88p, then MEPs will gain a further increase in take-home pay to £68,801. Going from earning £46,835 in take home pay currently to £68,801 under the new arrangements is a 47 per cent rise.
It has been calculated that due to the generosity and laxity of the MEPs' allowances, expenses and pensions system, it is possible for an MEP to personally save enough money to become a millionaire over their 5-year term.
Full methodology and calculations can be found in the research note itself, which can be read here.
Well, Hairy Moneyballs MEP, I know you read Old Holborn. Got anything to say for yourself, you bloated maggot?
It's not just me that's getting very close to hanging the lot of you.