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This is how much politicians earn in Germany’s various parliaments

The salary taken home at the end of the month by politicians in Germany varies widely from state to state. How much does your local representative earn?

This is how much politicians earn in Germany’s various parliaments
The Bundestag. Photo: DPA

The south

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 west

Photo: DPA

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 north

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.

The east

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.

The Bundestag

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.

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POLITICS

Civil servants ‘getting burnout’ over energy crisis, says German minister

Public sector workers trying to tackle Germany's ongoing energy crisis are suffering from illness and burnout, Economics Minister Robert Habeck has said.

Civil servants 'getting burnout' over energy crisis, says German minister

The Russian invasion of Ukraine has unleashed economic turmoil in Europe, placing Germany’s new coalition government under pressure to firefight multiple crises.

Perhaps the largest of these is the energy crisis, which has prompted fears of gas shortages in the winter months and seen prices for fossil fuels soar for both households and businesses.

According to Economics and Climate Minister Robert Habeck, the staff at his ministry – who are charged with tackling the energy crisis – are struggling to cope with the extraordinary pressure that they have been under in recent months. 

“People, at some point they have to sleep and eat too,” the Green politician said at a congress of the Federation of German Industries (BDI) in Berlin. “It’s not bullshit I’m talking now: people get sick. They have burnout, they get tinnitus. They can’t take it anymore.”

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In the last nine months alone, the Economics Ministry has produced 20 laws and 28 ordinances, Habeck revealed. He said this was likely more than the ministry produced over the entirety of the previous four-year legislature. 

Highlighting the strain that his staff were under, Habeck explained that it was always the same people in charge in drafting new laws in the battle to secure the energy supply.

To say that the Tourism Ministry could help restructure the electricity market would be like “telling the artist who made the sculptures that he can be the president of the Federation of German Industries,” the Green politician added. 

Batting off criticism that the ministry had occasionally been slow to act, Habeck said: “Of course you could say, ‘why didn’t you do the regulation a week earlier’. But it’s not because people are sleeping, it’s because there is a limit to their physical capacity.”

Gas levy criticism 

Germany has had to cope with an ever intensifying energy emergency over the past few months, culminating in Russia reducing supplies and then turning off gas deliveries via the Nord Stream 1 pipeline entirely in September. 

Most recently, the government took steps to nationalise its largest gas supplier – Uniper – in a move to prevent the collapse of the country’s energy infrastructure. Uniper has suffered losses of billions of euros this year due to the costs involved in replacing cheap Russian gas supplies at short notice. 

Habeck, who has appeared increasingly world-weary and exhausted in recent months, has faced sharp criticism for a number of decisions made during the crisis. 

Most controversially, his decision to implement a gas levy to bail out major energy companies has been met with consternation from both the opposition and the Greens’ coalition partners, the Social Democrats (SPD). 

On Friday, SPD leader Lars Klingbeil reiterated concerns about the fairness of the gas levy at a time when many are struggling to pay their energy bills.

SPD leader Lars Klingbeil

SPD leader Lars Klingbeil speaks to the press during the ARD Summer Interview in Berlin. Photo: picture alliance/dpa | Fabian Sommer

In a situation where the government is facing multiple decisions in a short space of time, ministers also require the strength to “reconsider and correct their path”, Klingbeil told RND.

“(The gas levy) is about supporting the gas supply infrastructure,” he added. “However, this must be done fairly.”

In spite of the nationalisation of Uniper, Habeck has confirmed that the gas levy – which adds 2.4 cents per kilowatt hour of energy onto gas bills – will still be introduced on October 1st.

However, on Thursday he announced that there would be changes to Energy Security Act to ensure that only companies who needed the bailout would benefit from the levy.

According to the ministry, the changes are set to be passed by the cabinet on September 28th.

READ ALSO: Germany to push ahead with gas levy plans

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