• Germany's news in English

Report: EU civil servants make more than Merkel

The Local · 3 Feb 2013, 11:12

Published: 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

Related articles

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

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
50,000 expected at Berlin anti-TTIP demo
People demonstrating against TTIP in Berlin on October 7th 2015. Photo: DPA

50,000 expected at Berlin anti-TTIP demo

2 hours ago

Organizers of a mass rally in Berlin against US-EU free trade agreement TTIP say that they expect around 50,000 people on Saturday from all over Germany to take part.

Bavaria threatens Merkel with court over refugees
Border controls between Austria and Bavaria. Photo: DPA

Bavaria threatens Merkel with court over refugees

9 hours ago

The Bavarian government is threatening to take Chancellor Angela Merkel to the country's highest court to make her change her refugee policy.

This Week in History
What the Germans brought to America
Germany and USA flags adorn New York's Waldorf Astoria hotel in 2011. Photo: DPA

What the Germans brought to America

3 hours ago

German-American Day first gained a spot on US calendars over 130 years ago. An annual holiday on October 6th, it marks the day in 1683 when 13 German families arrived in Philadelphia to set up home. But what exactly made their arrival so important?

Berlin school bans Wi-fi hub over porno fears
Photo: DPA

Berlin school bans Wi-fi hub over porno fears

4 hours ago

A school in west Berlin has opposed the city putting a public Wi-fi hot spot on their roof – because they are afraid pupils will use it to view pornography on their smartphones.

How well does Homeland get Germany?
Photo: DPA.

How well does Homeland get Germany?

4 hours ago

As the first episode of the new season of Homeland, shot in Berlin, aired this week, The Local takes a look at what it got right on point - and where it totally missed the point - about Berlin and Germany. Obviously: spoiler alert if you haven’t seen it.

Klopp meets press as new Liverpool boss
Jürgen Klopp posing with a Liverpool FC shirt at Anfield. Photo: DPA

Klopp meets press as new Liverpool boss

7 hours ago

Jürgen Klopp was introduced to the media as Liverpool manager on Friday morning and spoke of his pride at taking over at one of English football's biggest teams.

Police hunt suspect after refugee child snatched
Mohamed Januzi (l) and the suspected abductor (r). Photo: Polizei Berlin

Police hunt suspect after refugee child snatched

7 hours ago

A four-year-old refugee child went missing in Berlin over nine days ago. Now police have released a picture of his suspected abductor.

Klopp calls Liverpool deal 'dream move'
Jürgen Klopp. Credit: LFCTV

Klopp calls Liverpool deal 'dream move'

8 hours ago

German football coach Jürgen Klopp flew into Liverpool on Thursday to put pen to paper on a contract with the Premier League club, describing the move as "like a dream".

West must 'treat Russia properly': Juncker
Jean-Claude Juncker. Photo: DPA

West must 'treat Russia properly': Juncker

10 hours ago

The West must "treat Russia properly" and address it as an equal, European Commission chief Jean-Claude Juncker said in Passau on Thursday, criticising the US for labelling Moscow a regional power.

European Championships Qualifying
Ireland stun wasteful Germany with shock win
Photo: DPA

Ireland stun wasteful Germany with shock win

10 hours ago

Shane Long stunned world champions Germany with a goal that guaranteed Ireland a Euro 2016 playoff spot on an historic night at Lansdowne Road as the hosts won 1-0.

Are the German public too happy to see Hitler?
The secret to more travel for less
Government blocks plans for Berlin 'cannabis cafes'
'Der Klassiker': no classic at all for Dortmund
Dortmund fans' bad behaviour in Thessaloniki
UK Ambassador wants more young Brits in Germany
How Snoop Dogg dissed Munich hip hop scene
More wind power generated so far in 2015 than all of 2014
Rent a nuclear bunker near Berlin for just €3,000 a month
German universities leap up world elite rankings
Business & Money
What to do if you own a cheating Volkswagen
Homeland star's fave Berlin spot is Berghain
Why Dresden Buddhists won't be using the swastika symbol
Mystery of 'murdered' student found alive after 31 years
What wearable technology might look like in the future
Why vegetarian food is more German than a Bratwurst
The very best of traditional German vegetarian food
The first glimpse of Neptune - from an observatory in Berlin
How VW was rebuilt from nothing... by an English army officer
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd