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Monday, 20 February 2012

Gerard Batten MEP gives £31,000 a year back to tax payers.

Gerard Batten is paid the same salary as a UK Westminster MP at £64,766 per annum. A compulsory contribution of 11% is taken for the UK Parliamentary Pension Scheme.

As a re-elected MEP in June 2009 he had the option of taking the increased salary of €91,983.72 per annum (about £83,622) to stay on the old salary scale. The new salary was compulsory for new MEPs but optional for returning MEPs. The decision of returning MEPs to choose either option is irrevocable under the rules.

Gerard Batten opted to remain on the old lower salary saying, “in a time of economic crisis when many of my constituents are in fear of losing their jobs, and when politicians’ reputations have never been lower, I did not feel it would be justified to take an increase in salary of almost £19,000 per annum."

By taking this decision he also deprived himself an additional European Parliamentary pension, the contributions to which were worth in the region of £1,000 per month and are paid by the tax-payer.

Gerard said, “In times when people are fearful of losing their pensions how could I justify taking a pension that is not available to my constituents and for which I do not have to pay contributions?”

Gerard Batten, and the UKIP MEPs (2004 to 2009), voted against the salary and pension arrangements when they came before the Parliament.

Daily Allowance
MEPs are paid a daily allowance of €298 per day to pay for accommodation, meals and living expenses etc.

General Expenditure Allowance. This is currently over £42,000 per annum, paid in montly installments of around £3,512 - subject to exchange rate fluctuations. This allowance is to fund the running of a constituency office and cost related to carrying out the duties of an MEP.

Secretarial Allowance

This was recently increased (backdated to May 2010) to £211,516 per annum, paid in montly installments of £17,604, and is for the payment of a paying agent, employees and self-employed Service Providers (e.g. assistants and researchers). Salaries and fees are paid directly to a properly qualified paying agent or directly into the accounts of self-employed persons by the European Parliament on the provision of invoices. MEPs do not handle this money directly.

Gerard Batten MEP Transparency Report

UKIP MEPs have agreed a common format for Transparency Reports showing the titles and numbers of staff and consultants they employ, general headings and amounts spent from the General Expenditure Allowance, and the number of days spent in the European Parliament.

The following link contains the Transparency Reports for all UKIP MEPs. 

There is no agreed format for all UK MEPs of different parties and they may or may not publish similar details.

All I can say is, "Good for Gerard". I remember phoning him once and said I knew of a top notch restaurant in Brussels which hides itself from EU Politicians but really is the finest. Gerard thanked me but said he usually worked until around 10pm and grabbed something from the canteen.

 And I have heard from third parties that he always has his nose to the grindstone, certainlly someone we need to represent London in the EU. 

As for whether other British MPs of other parties producing transparency reports, they may or may not, but if they do, I would be very surprised.


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