June 19, 2018

‘Outrageous’ pay of Brussels elite: EU officials earn more than David Cameron

THE top 200 most highly-paid EU officials all earn more than David Cameron, an investigation by Ukip has discovered.

Scores of Brussels bureaucrats and EU Court of Justice judges receive more than the Prime Minister’s annual salary of £142,500. And on average, they pay £50,000 less tax than they would if they lived in the UK.

In total, the investigation estimated that their cossetted lifestyles cost European taxpayers more than £50million last year.

The lavish salaries, pension pots and perks of the Brussels elite were laid bare in a dossier entitled “The EU Rich List” compiled by the UK Independence Party’s Parliamentary Resource Unit and released last night.

It is expected to intensify calls for Britain to quit the EU ahead of the in-or-out referendum expected next year.

Ukip MP Douglas Carswell said: “For Eurocrats, austerity is always something that happens to other people.

“But it it’s outrageous that they retain their comfort while taxpayers still suffer.”

Using 2014 figures, the dossier showed that the pensions of the top 200 best paid EU officials are set to cost European taxpayers a total of £4.5million a year.

It found that, on average, officials in the EU Rich List earned 10 times more than a typical worker in the UK.

The most expensive EU official named on the list was Vassilios Skouris, who was the president of the Luxembourg-based EU Court of Justice until last October.

His basic salary was £241,460. Once his annual benefits and the cost of his pension were totted up, the report estimated that his annual cost to EU taxpayers was around £402,020.

Second on the list was José L. Da Cruz Vilaça, a judge in the Court of Justice.

His basic salary was £196,843 but adding annual benefits and pension contributions to the total took the figure to around £360,350.

The top six on the rich list are all judges who serve in the Court of Justice, the European General Court or the EU Civil Service Tribunal.

Jean-Claude Juncker, the President of the European Commission, was only at seventh place on the list.

Mr Juncker earned a basic salary of £241,460 in 2014. With benefits and annual pension contributions, the figure reached an estimate £342,505.

The investigation looked at the EU’s 2014 annual accounts and EU Staff Regulation documents to tot up the salary and benefit totals.

As a result, the figures do not take into account an inflation-busting 2.4 per cent that EU civil servants began receiving this week.

Many are in line for backdated payments and so will get lump sums running into thousands of pounds.

The Ukip dossier, compiled by researcher Tim Philpott, said: “The Euroepan Union has imposed draconian austerity measures on member states.

“EU diktats are forcing national governments to reduce public spending and make efficiences.

“Yet at the same time the EU’s own budget has been increasing, and EU officials are being protected from the painful cuts they are imposing on European publics.”

The report added: “It demonstrates that those at the top of EU institutions remain virtually unaffected by the economic distress touching the people they are supposed to serve.”

Mr Cameron is seeking to overhaul the UK’s relationship with Brussels ahead of his promised referendum.

He is concentrating on changes to the benefit system in order to reduce the incentives for EU migrants to come to Britain.

He also wants a commitment to reduce EU red tape, protect nations outside the euro-zone from being bullied by single currency members and a right to opt-out of a commitment to “ever-closer union”.

His critics complain that his renegotiation will do nothing to cut the waste and lavish spending in the EU which infuriates many UK voters.

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