As of July 1st this year politicians in the Landtag in state capital Stuttgart will earn €7,963 per month. The decision announced on Wednesday marked a 2.1 percent increase in the salaries of representatives in the wealthy southern state.
Just to the east in Bavaria, politicians get one of the best pay packages in the country. Members of the Bavarian Landtag, which sits in state capital Munich, are paid €8,022 a month – or €96,264 a year.
The central state of Hesse, with its parliament in Wiesbaden, isn’t stingy when it comes to paying its lawmakers. But considering Hesse is one of the richest states in the country, it doesn’t quite offer top dollar either. A lawmaker there pockets €7,729 a month, but also gets to work in a beautiful spa town, which must be some consolation.
North Rhine-Westphalia is a state known for two things: having Germany’s biggest population and racking up huge debts. So it should hardly be a surprise that this profligate place spends €9,500 a month on lawmakers’ wages – the top salaries in any of the 16 states.
The state of Rhineland-Palatinate near the French border is known for wine and the good things in life. So when lawmakers have such a high quality of life, they are probably content with a monthly salary of €6,828.
Tiny little Saarland only has 51 lawmakers in its mini-parliament. Each of them received a pay increase this year that takes them onto a salary of €5,759.
The northern state of Lower Saxony, with Hanover as its capital, is one of the biggest Bundesländer, but at the same time almost completely unremarkable. So it is fitting that the salaries of politicians there are neither especially low nor particularly high – €6,809 still ain’t a bad salary though.
Up in cold, windy Schleswig-Holstein they reckon a wage of €8,219 is appropriate payment for politicians. Lawmakers there are the second to top earners in the country, behind NRW.
Most of the states of eastern Germany, which are poor compared to the west, keep a tight check on their lawmakers' incomes.
Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania is Germany’s most rural and least populated state. It has stayed true to these humble qualities by offering politicians a monthly salary of €5,966.
Schloss Schwerin, the seat of the Landtag in Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania. Photo: DPA
The Free State of Saxony has its capital in Dresden. And the lawmakers there take home a comparatively modest €5,668.
Members of the state legislature in Magdeburg (Saxony-Anhalt) earn slightly more than their colleagues in Dresden, but a salary of €6,388 certainly doesn’t put them anywhere near the top of the table.
And in Thuringia representatives at the Landtag in Erfurt pocket €5,512 every month.
The only exception to this eastern thriftiness though is Brandenburg. Politicians there walk away with a monthly salary of €7,159 – way more than in any of the other formerly communist states.
The city states
If you are lucky enough to be voted into the Berlin senate, you might get a say on what the future holds for the capital city, but don't expect a salary to compare with that of a Bavarian lawmaker for doing so. Berlin politicians earn €3,840 a month.
The tiny little city-state of Bremen in the northeast of the country only has 83 representatives in its parliament, known as the Bürgerschaft. Lawmakers there are compensated with €4,987 a month plus €795 for their pensions.
The only state that pays its parliamentarians less than Berlin is second city Hamburg. Representatives in the parliament on the Elbe take home a very average €2,777.
The reason why the city states pay so little though, is that being a lawmaker in their parliament is only a part-time job.
As one might expect, if a politician has managed to climb the slippery ladder of power all the way up to the national parliament, they are rewarded with a salary bigger than that in any of the state parliaments. A monthly salary of €9,541 is no small reward for persuading the public that you are worth their vote.