MEPs are overpaid and receive generous allowances to cover expenses incurred in their daily work. Along with my Sinn Féin colleagues in the European Parliament I have consistently voted to reduce salaries and for the introduction of a fully vouched system for expenses.
Below are the current details of salary and allowances for MEPs.
An MEP’s pre tax salary is €105,090 per annum. I pay income tax and social insurance contributions on this in both in Brussels and in Ireland on this salary. Of the balance I make regular donations to campaigns and causes in Munster and South Leinster.
Each day an MEP attends Parliament, they receive €320 provided they sign the attendance register. This payment covers the cost of accommodation, food and other expenses when in Brussels and Strasbourg.
MEPs are refunded the actual cost of travel between their member state and the Parliaments in Brussels and Strasbourg. Arrangements are made via an accredited travel agency chosen by the European Parliament and all expenses are vouched.
GENERAL EXPENDITURE ALLOWANCE
MEPs are given an allowance of €4513 per month to cover the costs of running constituency offices in their Member States. These costs include rent, heating, electricity, furniture, office & IT equipment, phones, insurance, website, newspaper and magazine subscriptions, postage, printing and stationary, professional fees, office maintenance and translation/interpretation services.
The allowance is also used to host conferences, seminars and public meetings. Costs covered include, venue hire, refreshments, graphic design, speaking fees and travel for guest speakers including international speakers.
Given the size of my constituency I maintain an office in Cork City and another office in Enniscorthy, Co. Wexford.
I employ two Parliamentary Assistants in Brussels as part of a grouping with my fellow Sinn Féin MEPs. Their employment is administered directly by the European Parliament. I also employ three Local Assistants in my constituency. Their employment is administered by a qualified accountant acting as paying agent. In line with the rules of the European Parliament none of my staff are related to me.
I am a Designated Public Offician under the Regulation of Lobbying Act (Ireland).