MPs are in talks with the Finance Ministry regarding their remuneration, Phileleftheros reported on Monday.
They are discussing scrapping the various allowances and incorporating them into a new salary for reasons of transparency. Also under discussion is reducing some other allowances – such as travel expenses to participate in House meetings.
MPs currently receive three allowances totalling €2.5m a year as follows:
- Allowance for secretarial services (annual cost of €713,512), which is paid to the 55 MPs and the three representatives of the religious groups which corresponds to €12,302 each annually. The allowance is intended to pay for secretaries but no MPs employ them because they have parliamentary assistants who are paid for by the state. The allowance is also factored into pensions.
- Entertainment allowance (annual cost €1.390.898) issued to the president of the House (€29,346 annually) and to MPs (€23,475 annually each). The allowance is factored into pensions.
- Travel expenses (annual cost €409,015) with each MP receiving €590 monthly irrespective of where they live. The allowance is also paid out in the summer when the House is not in session.
Phileleftheros notes that the GRECO team of the Council of Europe set up to promote transparency and combat corruption, has also suggested that the MPs’ allowances be replaced with a salary. The auditor general has made a similar argument.
According to the 2019 state budget, the annual net remuneration of the President of the House is €73,718 and of MPs €50,867.