German MPs kybosh unpopular pay raise

German lawmakers have rejected a proposal that would have seen their salaries increase 16.4 percent over three years, the parliamentary leaders of the two main parties said on Tuesday.

German MPs kybosh unpopular pay raise
Struck says 'Uncle' over the pay raise. Photo: DPA

“It can’t be implemented,” Peter Struck, the parliamentary floor boss of the Social Democrats said simply in admitting the measure’s defeat.

The other half of Germany’s ruling coalition, the Christian Democrats also said the plan was hopeless. Struck’s conservative counterpart, Volker Kauder said the reasoning behind the fat raise “apparently couldn’t be communicated right now.”

The proposed pay hike had attracted fierce criticism both within the main parties and the opposition for coming at a time when price rises are making life harder for many average Germans.

“The salary disaster completely shows how far the ruling coalition is from real life,” Guido Westerwelle, the leader of the opposition Free Democrats, said.

Under the proposal basic monthly salaries for MPs would have risen to €7,946 ($12,444) from 2009 and to €8,159 from 2010 – €1,150 more than in 2007.

The proposed raise had been backed by Chancellor Angela Merkel, who said she wanted to bring MP pay into line with that of judges after no increases between 2004 and 2007.