One in five Belgian MPs earns an average of €34,577 on top of their regular salary, Het Laatste Nieuws reports. Questions have arisen over bonuses, which lawmakers receive due to the "extra" roles they hold in parliament.
Parliamentary income and bonuses have been under the limelight in the past week due to the revelation that former officials had been granted "illegal" retirement allowances. Among those accused, the Prime Minister's own father Herman De Croo was found to have pocketed an additional €6,000 per month.
The Flemish newspaper Het Laatste Nieuws decided to further investigate MPs' bonuses, after having consulted the Federal Parliament's own internal figures on parliamentary allowances.
Their report, released on Monday, revealed that 32 MPs would pocket bonuses for their additional work in parliament. This includes all party leaders, as well as committee heads and members, and MPs presiding over the Chamber of Representatives.
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In total, these 32 bonuses reached €1,106,474 pre-tax, which averages out to €34,577 per MP. For comparison, they stood at €1,063 million in 2021, €1,055 million in 2020 and €997,000 in 2019. This ever-growing increase in bonuses comes directly out of Belgian citizens' tax money.
Moreover, questions are now being raised over the legitimacy of these bonuses, with the Flemish newspaper stating that the additional administrative work these MPs' extra roles require is mainly carried out by civil servants.
The Brussels Times reached Eliane Tillieux, the President of the Chamber of Representatives, for a comment but did not receive a response. She stated to Het Laatste Nieuws that "we need extra time to investigate the exact amounts, as we are receiving similar questions on the topic," before any future comments.