Salaries of Flemish MPs, but not Ministers, to be reduced by 5%
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    Salaries of Flemish MPs, but not Ministers, to be reduced by 5%

    Credit: Vlaams Parlement

    Members of the Flemish Parliament will start earning 5% less from May 2020, but the cut does not apply for Ministers, the parliament decided on Thursday.

    The proposal was unanimously approved. However, the socialist s.pa party wanted to apply the 5% pay cut to the Ministers’ salaries as well, but that amendment was rejected. “It is very hypocritical. Everyone is equal before the law: if we do it for MPs, then it is only logical to do the same for the Ministers,” said Hannelore Goeman, sp.a party leader, reports De Standaard.

    Seven years ago, a similar wage cut for Federal MPs was implemented. For now, the measure does not (yet) apply to Ministers, but there is room for debate, according to the liberal Open VLD party group leader, Willem-Frederik Schiltz. “The decision will be taken by May,” he said, reports VRT.

    It is not yet possible to implement the salary cut immediately, as it is “technically difficult,” according to Schiltz. “Changing the salaries of the members of parliament also means changing those of the mayors and aldermen, which was not the intention,” he said, adding that the technical details will be worked out by May.

    A regular Flemish MP earns about €6,000 net per month, but Flemish Ministers earn more, about €10,000 net per month. The extreme-left PVDA/PTB party emphasised that they donate everything they earn over €2,131 to their party, and that they want to halve the salaries of all MPs.

    Maïthé Chini
    The Brussels Times