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More transparency on MPs' extra income
Photo: DPA

More transparency on MPs' extra income

Published: 25 Oct 2012 12:28 GMT+02:00
Updated: 25 Oct 2012 12:28 GMT+02:00

Members of the German Bundestag could soon have to state exactly how much they earn on the side. Both parties in the ruling coalition agreed on a new transparency model on Thursday.

Currently, parliamentarians must only specify the general income category their second job earns them per month. The first level is €1,000 to €3,500, the second level up to €7,000, and the third “more than €7,000” with no further differentiation between €7,001 and €100,000.

Bundestag Vice President Hermann Otto Solms said after the meeting that the first three levels would remain the same, but seven more would be added on top of the previous €7,000 bracket.

They would be from €7,000 to €15,000 to €30,000. Stages of €50,000, €75,000, €100,000, €150,000, €250,000 and then over €250,000 would also follow.

Politicians would not be obliged to publish their exact earnings on their websites, Solms added.

Opposition parties the Social Democrats (SPD) and the Greens welcomed the new model, but said it didn't go far enough. They are pushing for full disclosure of all earnings.

Extra income has been a recurrent topic in German parliament for years. Discussions were reignited in recent weeks, after the SPD's chancellor candidate Peer Steinbrück refused to disclose how much he earned on the side from his speaking engagements.

DPA/DAPD/The Local/jcw

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

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Your comments about this article

14:18 October 25, 2012 by ChrisRea
I am very curious about it. It will be a big step forward if it will be implemented. And the full disclosure requested by SPD and the Greens would be extraordinary. Even if their model will not be adopted, they could lead the way and publish the incomes of their parliamentarians.
20:28 October 25, 2012 by Kennneth Ingle
It is not just the money these politicians receive which should be cause for concern, but also the hours they use, in activities which have nothing to do with their duties to the electorate. The work of a member of parliament must, if carried out properly, be a full time job. What we see here, are people who are using their mandate as a background in order to obtain an income from other sources.

The real and most probable danger, is that such payments are made to buy political decisions. Nobody would trust a policeman if he were known to take bribes, so why trust people whose responsibility is of a much higher level? Politicians who can be bought always were, are and will remain, a danger for us all.
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