Transparency Year End 2020
Updated: Mar 9
Details of travel, office and staff budgets for the year ending 2020
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 2020 was €3,897.89. This includes travel to and from my constituency to Brussels and Strasbourg. A flat-rate subsistence allowance of €320 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. I have been working remotely from Dublin since the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic in March 2020 and therefore I have not claimed this subsistence allowance since then.
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 costs 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 is used in accordance with the principles applicable to its use. I have a full-time constituency office in Dublin City Centre. Please see details here: https://www.francesfitzgerald.ie/
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 2020, I employed 3 staff members. Two staff members are based in Brussels and one in Dublin. None are related to me.
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 2020, €8,995.39. MEP salaries are paid from Parliament’s budget. My salary is subject to both EU tax and Irish tax.
Information about MEPs’ salaries and allowances, including staffing arrangements, is published on the Parliament’s website. https://www.europarl.europa.eu/news/en/faq/13/salaries-and-pensions