MEP Ivari Padar said the salaries of MEPs have been harmonized throughout Europe and although the salaries seem high in the Eastern European context, the income is significantly lower compared to national parliaments in Western Europe.
Over the weekend, the news site Delfi wrote about the reluctance the Estonian MEPs have shown in disclosing the amount of their expenses and benefits, ETV’s program Ringvaade reported on Monday.
Padar said the Estonian MEPs have not made a pact to keep their expenses secret and the data is available on the official pages of the European Parliament. The benefits consist of four sections: the 6,800 euro salary, a 300 euro per diem, expenses on transport, and expenses on running an office, he said.
Ringvaade calculated that this adds up to 12,500 euros per month in benefits.
Padar admitted the sum is hefty from an Estonian standpoint but added that it’s calculated according to an European average.
Padar said transport makes up the majority of expenses because most MEPs return home for weekends.