Pay and Expenses statement

MEPs’ Pay and Expenses

Rebecca Taylor MEP is very clear on the need to be open and transparent about her pay. The following information on this page sets out details of both the pay received by Rebecca, as well as any expenses claims made. In addition to this, there are also details on use of the allowances available for Rebecca to use to cover the running costs of her regional office (known as “general expenditure” allowance).

Rebecca’s colleague Chris Davies MEP, Lib Dem MEP for the North West, is a long-time campaigner for reform of this payment system, and sets out some of the problems on his website.

You may also want to read the Parliament’s official page on how the system works

Rebecca agrees with those that argue the Parliament’s requirements on how much information must be declared needs to be strengthened. Currently, most British MEPs go beyond the Parliament’s requirements to ensure that the details of their expenditure are transparent and made publicly available.

Personal Income

MEPs are paid a salary fixed at the rate of 38.5% of the basic salary of a judge serving on the European Court of Justice. In March 2012 this amounted to €7,957 per month. The actual payment to British MEPs depends on the value of the euro compared to the pound, and varies from month to month.

Tax is deducted at source at the ‘European Community’ rate along with deductions for life, accident and medical insurance. This amounts to less than UK tax. British MEPs, Rebecca included, pay additional tax and make national insurance contributions to ensure that total deductions amount to the same as the UK rates.

The MEPs pension fund is non-contributory. All payments to it are made from the Parliament’s budget and none are deducted from the salary of MEPs.

The salary package includes life and accident insurance, medical insurance, and payments towards language and computer tuition (if ever used).

Rebecca has no other source of income, but she did previously rent out a room in the flat she owns in London to a lodger for a market price of £700 pcm. The lodger had a legal contract and was already renting the room when Rebecca became an MEP, and this continute until June 2013.

Accommodation/subsistence allowance

MEPs receive a Brussels/Strasbourg allowance of €304 per day towards away-from-home accommodation and subsistence costs. This allowance is paid only when the MEP is working in the Parliament in Brussels or Strasbourg. To obtain this they must sign a register at any time between the hours of 7am and 11pm on working days to indicate that they have been in the Parliament building for all or part of each day. This allowance is a flat fee, so MEPs cannot ask for any other accommodation or living related costs such as meals, taxis, food shopping, or furniture to be reimbursed. In Rebecca’s case, most of this allowance goes on renting a small flat in Brussels and paying to stay in a hotel in Strasbourg several days per month.

Travel

MEPs are reimbursed at cost for the price of the tickets they buy to travel between their home and the Parliament in Brussels or Strasbourg. Most of Rebecca’s journeys are rail fares between the UK (either Leeds or London) to Brussels or Strasbourg.

In addition, MEPs receive ‘duration’ and ‘distance’ allowances for journeys to and from Parliament that are intended to cover incidental travel costs. They are calculated on a sliding scale, and the exact sum paid depends on the location of each MEP’s home.

MEPs can also claim for up to 48 single journeys within their own country by train or plane or boat (think Finland or Greece), or for car journeys in the UK and the eight other largest Member States up to a maximum distance of 24,000 km annually at the rate of €0.49/km. MEPs from other countries have a smaller distance allowance. For journeys of less than 800km no fuel receipts or other evidence of travel need be produced. Rebecca does not own a car and therefore does not make any fuel claims.

An annual allowance of up to €4148 annually is available to MEPs to meet the cost of travel, accommodation and subsistence when making journeys outside their own country in connection with their parliamentary work. Rebecca did not make any claims in relation to this allowance in 2012 or 2013.

Liberal Democrat, Labour and Conservative MEPs are also now required by their parties to go further than the Parliament demands in publicly accounting for the use of their allowances.

Staff costs

The European Parliament makes available the sum of €21,209 per month towards the cost of an MEP employing staff.

Rebecca uses the allowance to employ 2 full time staff in Brussels, 1 full time staff member in Yorkshire and the Humber and one part time member of staff in the region. I will also take on interns. My assistants in Brussels are employed directly by the Parliament. Contracts of employment for all my UK-based staff are checked with an accredited Accountant and deposited with the parliamentary authorities.

Staff Member

Role

Salary Band £

Based in

Marzena Rembowski

Parliamentary Assistant

25,000-30,000

Brussels

Daniel Callaghan

Parliamentary Assistant

20,000-25,000

Brussels

Mike Ross

Press Officer (4 days/week)

20,000-25,000 (pro rata)

Hull

Angela Hunter

Office Manager

20,000-25,000

Hull

Staff Member

Role

Salary Band £

Based in

Adam Williams

Constituency Liaison (part-time 0.5 days per week RT, 0.5 days EMS)

20,000-25,000 (pro rata)

Yorkshire

Charles Quinn

Constituency Liaison (2.5 days RT, 2.5 days EMS)

15,000-20,000

Yorkshire

No member of staff is related to Rebecca.

General office management costs

MEPs currently receive an office costs allowance known as “general expenditure” of €4299 per month (roughly £42,000 a year). The bulk of this allowance is used to pay for the cost of the office in Hull. This covers expenditure on rent, rates, equipment, stationery, postage, telephone and other communications. In addition some of this allowance is used to purchase supplies and equipment such as stationary and postage in the parliamentary office.

The European Parliament insists that the allowance is paid into a personal bank account of each member, a situation that Rebecca personally does not approve of. As Rebecca does not think it is appropriate that this allowance is paid into the same bank account as her salary, she opened a second bank account purely for the purposes of receiving this allowance, most of which is then sent on to the bank account for the Hull office which is managed by the Office Manager. The Parliament does not require MEPs to produce receipts to justify use of this money. However, the major British political parties including the Liberal Democrats demand that their MEPs publish accounts annually, to varying degrees of detail, and that these be verified annually by an accountant (details of my expenses and accountant can be found below).

Item of expenditure 2013 (Hull Office) amount
Communications £2668.74
Office Equipment £1377.66
Office management and running costs £3137.71
Office supplies, stationary, periodicals, subscriptions £1142.72
Postage £534.40
Business Rates £2946.67
Rent £16206.73
Miscellaneous £2402.14
General Expenditure total £30,416.77
Item of expenditure 2013 (Brussels Office) amount
Communications n.a.
Office Equipment €858.00
Office management and running costs €0.00
Office supplies, stationary, periodicals, subscriptions €558.69
Postage €10.30
Business Rates n.a.
Rent €0.00
Miscellaneous €267.67
General Expenditure total 1694.66

General Expenditure receipts are available on request. The Liberal Democrats are the only UK political party who’s MEPs make all receipts above £25 publically available

Paying Agent

The Paying Agent for Rebecca Taylor MEP is Tait Walker LLP, Bulman House, Regent Centre, Gosforth, Newcastle-Upon-Tyne, NE3 3LS

Rebecca had her 2013 General Expenditure independently verified by Tait Walker LLP.

REGISTER OF INTERESTS

The European Parliament maintains a register of MEPs’ financial interests that can be read at the parliament’s offices in Brussels or Strasbourg. In most cases entries are available online (European Parliament website, ‘YOUR MEPs’).

Expenses paid to Rebecca Taylor In 2013

The following is a statement of the expenses paid to Rebecca Taylor in 2013. The information is provided by the Parliament’s Directorate-General for Finance.

Please note that the European Parliament regards this information as highly confidential, although the European Ombudsman made clear on 14 July 2008 that failure to publish this information amounted to maladministration. The Parliament (or to be accurate the members of the Parliament’s ‘Bureau’ responsible for internal administration) has refused to change its position.

Duration Allowance

€7524.00

Distance Allowance

€5160.92

Taxi Costs To/From Aiport

€0.00

Travel Costs

€25051.50

Daily Allowance

€30704.00

Total

€68440.42

2 Responses to Pay and Expenses statement

  1. Pingback: European Movement UK » Blog Archive » Time to expose UKIP MEPs for what they really are – lazy & unprincipled

  2. Pingback: The European Parliament is such a waste of money – or is it? | rationaldebate

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