• Germany edition
 
Report: EU civil servants make more than Merkel
Photo: DPA

Report: EU civil servants make more than Merkel

Published: 03 Feb 2013 11:12 GMT+01:00
Updated: 03 Feb 2013 11:12 GMT+01:00

Sunday newspaper Die Welt am Sonntag decided to look into the situation after British Prime Minister David Cameron said that a few hundred EU civil servants make more than a prime minister or a chancellor.

The newspaper said thousands of EU civil servants make more than some top EU leaders not only because of the higher salaries but because they have extensive tax privileges, so their net pay is more.

“The EU civil service is the best paid in Europe. Even when compared to German civil servants, the EU ones are living in a land of milk and honey,” said Rainer Holznagel. president of the Federation of German Taxpayers.

He criticized the “innumerable and at times extensive privileges” they get and said “not only the salaries but the tax treatment as well as the generous pension rules have to be immediately reformed.

Populist German newspapers, like the Bild have often complained about the EU and its highly paid civil servants. Germany pays more than any other EU country toward the Brussels budget and forked over €19.7 billion in 2011, according to EU figures.

There are about 46,000 civil servants working for the EU. A high level manager who is married and has one child earns €16,358.80 a month, but that ends up with a salary at the level of an EU country leader because there are tax-free benefits for children and for their school fees – and also for household expenses.

A person at this level would be in a management position and have roughly 12 people under him or her, the paper wrote – far less responsibility than running a country.

It gets better for the 79 civil servants who are EU general directors. After four years in office, such a position for a person without children and who is based in Brussels, earns €21,310.17 monthly – that even surpasses German President Joachim Gauck’s €18,083 monthly.

But if you take into account all of the tax-free benefits and added benefits EU civil servants get, the number of people making more money than EU leaders – and also cabinet members and state secretaries – runs into the thousands.

EU civil servants do not pay the national income tax of their home country but pay it directly to the EU – and those rates are relatively moderate, with payments for social services running at 13.3 percent of a base salary. Tax rates are moderate too and there is a limited progression, so if you make more not much more gets taken away.

Inge Gräßle, a Christian Democratic Union (CDU) party member, European parliamentarian and member of its budget control committee mapped out a detailed tax comparison for the various salary levels and seniority.

A department director who earns what Merkel earns on a gross basis, would take home €11,863.56 monthly. If that salary were taxed in Germany it would yield €2,000 less per month.

Even if you use the German tax system – a person earning €9,600 monthly in Brussels could have a job like a main translator and be in that position for four years.

The biggest culprit is the EU tax system, the paper wrote. A single EU civil servant with no kids pays 25 percent income tax. In Gräßle’s Baden-Württemberg home town, that person would lose 39 percent to taxes.

The Local/mw

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

Don't miss...X
Left Right

Your comments about this article

14:00 February 3, 2013 by Opeth_fan
Merkel is not worth it and neither are they.
16:24 February 3, 2013 by Englishted
Why do people question the U.K.'s motive for calling for a freeze on the budget ,when these excesses are only the tip of the giant iceberg that is the E.U.
16:25 February 3, 2013 by catjones
at least they dress better....
21:01 February 3, 2013 by Kennneth Ingle
What more proof is needed? The administration of the EU is too big, too ineffective and too Expensive! It is a good idea gone bad, a complete waste of money and unfortunately the money is ours.
22:27 February 3, 2013 by jg.
"EU civil servants do not pay the national income tax of their home country but pay it directly to the EU"

They don't pay any income tax.

Salaries are paid "net of internal tax" but the internal tax is zero (just ask one of them to show you where the tax is deducted on their payslips), so they pay no income tax on their salaries but they are supposed to pay the national income tax of the country where they work in respect of any other earnings e.g. from investments or savings. However, as staff of international organisations enjoy privacy in their financial dealings, it is possible that not all of them declare all of their investment earnings.
22:57 February 3, 2013 by McM
If they get their free lunch noses any deeper in the trough the whole EU will drown.
05:20 February 4, 2013 by RainerL
Not surprised. They are called Fat Cats
17:07 February 4, 2013 by Freedom Smile
What is not written in the article are the privileges that the EU 46,000 civil servants enjoy on top of their tax free salaries: education paid in top high schools in Brussels , Hague or Strasbourg, Paid holidays, Full insurances for them and their families , unbelievable pension schemes ( monthly pension equal with the last salary , for at least 5 years of service), relocation subsidize, rented apartments paid, etc ..etc. If you include those benefits the yearly average EU servants salary is close to 200 K Euro. Multiply by 50 K (their average number ) will give you 10 billions....1 % of the EU budget is spent by 0.00001 of their population.Most of them have the sallary higher than Angela Merkel!

There is no Company in the World to offer such a generous package to their employee . It's time to say Stop 2 EuroPrivileges!

Come and join the Freedom Smile Social Campaign : Say NO to Eurocrats Privileges!

vote on http://www.gopetition.com/petitions/stop-2-europrivileges.html

or on the facebook page
Today's headlines
Man shot in tax office dispute
DPA

Man shot in tax office dispute

A tax office worker in the Schleswig-Holstein town of Rendsburg died in hospital after being shot on Monday morning. READ  

Merkel details Iraq arms shipment to MPs
Angela Merkel addressing the Bundestag on Monday as her ministers look on. Photo: DPA

Merkel details Iraq arms shipment to MPs

UPDATE: Chancellor Angela Merkel addressed the Bundestag on Monday to explain her government's decision to send weapons to Iraqi Kurds fighting terrorist group Isis. READ  

Olympic visions compete in Berlin and Hamburg
Berlin and Hamburg mayors Klaus Wowereit and Olaf Scholz on Monday. Photos: DPA

Olympic visions compete in Berlin and Hamburg

Germany's capital and its gateway to the North Sea each released details of their Olympic bids on Monday as the race for the 2024 or 2028 summer games nominations picks up momentum. READ  

Vacationer killed by Baltic Sea bacteria
Photo: DPA

Vacationer killed by Baltic Sea bacteria

Six people were infected with a bacteria from the Caribbean which has made itself at home in the popular German vacation destination. One of them is now in a coma. READ  

UN applauds Germany's help to refugees
DPA

UN applauds Germany's help to refugees

UNHCR Commissioner Antonio Guterres is lauding Germany's role in accommodating the influx of refugees in Europe, while pointing at the imbalance of effort within the EU. The federal government has pledged to do more. READ  

Energy-sucking vacuums no longer welcome
Photo: DPA

Energy-sucking vacuums no longer welcome

Starting on Monday, vacuum cleaners drawing more than 1600 watts can no longer be brought into Germany. The ban is part of a an EU-wide environmental protection measure. READ  

Coalition horsetrading starts after Saxony vote
CDU leader Stanislav Tillich with SPD Martig Dulig. Photo: DPA

Coalition horsetrading starts after Saxony vote

Chancellor Angela Merkel's Christian Democratic (CDU) party is in search of a new partner after the expulsion of its former allies the Free Democrats (FDP) from the Saxon state parliament. READ  

Presented by Phorms Education
Bilingual education from nursery to graduation
Photo: Phorms Education

Bilingual education from nursery to graduation

A network of German based schools is changing how students learn languages by introducing English and Deutsch from day one, with the method yielding impressive academic results. The Local finds out more about Phorms Education. READ  

JobTalk Germany
'German bosses need to praise more'
More of this? Photo: Shutterstock

'German bosses need to praise more'

What do German bosses need to do to get more out of their staff? Frankfurt-based business consultant Justin Bariso has this advice. READ  

Train drivers take their turn to strike
A banner announcing a previous rail strike in June is displayed in a station. Photo: DPA

Train drivers take their turn to strike

A train drivers' union has warned of a nationwide strike to take place on Monday evening as it seeks leverage in negotiations with Deutsche Bahn. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
Sponsored Article
Bilingual education from nursery to graduation at Phorms
Photo: Shutterstock
Gallery
Ten of the oddest things found by German border control
Photo: Gerkan, Marg and Partners/Tegel Projekt GmbH/J. Mayer
Berlin
How will Berlin look in five years' time?
Photo: DPA
Culture
Sprechen Sie Deutsch? 10 reasons why you should
Photo: DPA
Gallery
The best of Berlin's mayor Klaus Wowereit in 14 pictures
Photo: DPA
Politics
Germany sends burgers and sausages to Kurds
Photo: Matthias Kock
National
Tribes, ties and a movie: A German's Afghan life
Photo: DPA
Gallery
10 things to do before summer in Germany is really over
Photo: DPA
Gallery
The mysteries of Berlin's abandoned theme park
Photo: Europeana.de 1914 - 1918
Gallery
A German soldier's life behind WWI lines
Photo: DPA
Business & Money
JobTalk: All you need to know about working in Germany
National
Share news tips with The Local Germany
Latest news from The Local in Austria

More news from Austria at thelocal.at

Latest news from The Local in Switzerland

More news from Switzerland at thelocal.ch

Latest news from The Local in Denmark

More news from Denmark at thelocal.dk

Latest news from The Local in Spain

More news from Spain at thelocal.es

Latest news from The Local in France

More news from France at thelocal.fr

Latest news from The Local in Italy

More news from Italy at thelocal.it

Latest news from The Local in Norway

More news from Norway at thelocal.no

Latest news from The Local in Sweden

More news from Sweden at thelocal.se

3,430
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd