Details of travel, office and staff budgets for the year ending 2016:
Travel costs. MEPs are refunded the actual cost of their travel tickets on presentation of booking invoices, receipts and boarding passes. Travel documents are submitted in paper format and validated by the Parliament’s services. This entails checking boarding pass, a breakdown of the cost of the ticket purchased and a separate document outlining the journey undertaken. The cost of my travel in 2016 was €61,004. This includes travel to and from my constituency to Brussels and Strasbourg as well as additional travel undertaken in my role as Vice-President of the European Parliament. A flat-rate subsistence allowance of €306 per day of attendance at official meetings of Parliament is paid to cover accommodation, meals and all other expenses involved in such attendance. Members are requested to sign an official attendance register.
General expenditure. MEPs are provided with financial support in the constituency to cover office and related costs including office management expenses; rent, heating, electricity, insurance, cleaning, maintenance and repair; working costs such as telephone bills, postal charges, internet subscriptions, costs related to MEPs’ websites, purchase of office supplies, purchase of books, periodicals and newspapers, purchase, maintenance and repair of office equipment, including furniture, IT equipment, telephones including mobile phones, and software. It also covers hotel and restaurant bills within the MEP’s member state as well as any costs related to the organisation of events, conferences, seminars, exhibitions or public meetings. This allowance of €4,320 per month is used in accordance with the principles applicable to its use – Council Regulation No 1605/2002 on the Financial Regulation applicable to the general budget of the European Communities, Council Regulation No 2342/2002 and the Implementing Measures of the Statute of Members of the European Parliament. My office is in the townland of Mentrim, Navan and is separate from my house. Please see details here: http://maireadmcguinness.ie/contact/.
Staff. MEPs employ staff to work in Brussels, Strasbourg and Ireland. The salaries and related expenses are paid from a budget set by the parliament. In 2016, I employed 6 staff members at the start of the year, which reduced to 5 staff members including 1 intern for a 2-month period. None are related to me, although one is married to my brother-in-law.
Accredited assistants, based in Brussels (or Strasbourg), are administered and paid directly by Parliament’s administration. Administration of contracts for local assistants based in an MEP’s home country are handled by paying agents, in my case a qualified accountant, who guarantees that all appropriate tax and PRSI is paid. MEPs play no role in the administration of contracts. Staff work according to agreed conditions set out in the employment contract. The nature of the work requires flexibility around working time and hours and involves attendance at evening and weekend meetings and events.
Salary: The monthly pre-tax salary of MEPs under the single statute is, in 2016, € 8,345. MEP salaries are paid from Parliament’s budget. My salary is subject to EU tax, Irish tax and accident insurance contribution.
Information about MEPs’ salaries and allowances, including staffing arrangements, is published on the Parliament’s website.