Brexit Party politicians have 'highest outside earnings' of all EU MEPs

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Hand up if you are the highest earners. Brexit Party MEPs in the European Parliament (REUTERS/Vincent Kessler)
Hand up if you are the highest earners. Brexit Party MEPs in the European Parliament (REUTERS/Vincent Kessler)

Brexit Party MEPs are the best paid politicians in the European Parliament, according to a new report from Transparency International.

The “anti-elite” 28 Brexiteers declared outside annual earnings of between £1.7 million and £3.9 million per year.

That is on top of the £7,600 they earn each month - before tax - as members of the European Parliament.

They also receive another around £4,000 in allowances for working in the EU parliament in Brussels and Strasbourg.

This is in addition to the multiple pension funds and private medical care for MEPs as well as their families.

MEPs are also entitled to receive a pension at the age of 63.

For each full year that an MEP works, they receive a pension that's worth 3.5% of their salary.

The Brexit Party won the most British seats in European elections held earlier this year.

Founded by Nigel Farage, the anti-EU party could play a key role in any upcoming General Election with the country split by Brexit.

Boris Johnson though has so far ruled out a pact with the Brexit party at any forthcoming election.

Nigel Farage, United Kingdom Independence Party (UKIP) member and MEP, addresses the European Parliament during a debate on Brexit priorities and the upcomming talks on the UK's withdrawal from the EU, in Strasbourg, France, April 5, 2017.  REUTERS/Vincent Kessler
Nigel Farage, Brexit Party leader (REUTERS/Vincent Kessler)

Farage has attacked UK politicians for “betraying” the electorate over the 2016 EU referendum.

“The political elite said there would be no second vote. They said your decision would be final,” he said earlier this year.

The group of MEPs made headlines earlier this year when they turned their backs during the playing of EU’s anthem in the European Parliament.

Transparency International is a watchdog which monitors EU lobbying and outside activities of members of the European Parliament.

The latest study is an annual report on MEPs self-reported income from second jobs and commitments.

MEPs are required to declare their income from outside activities.

Brexit Party member and MEP Ann Widdecombe attends a debate on the last European summit at the European Parliament in Strasbourg, France, July 4, 2019. Picture taken July 4, 2019.  REUTERS/Vincent Kessler
Former Tory minister Ann Widdecombe is now a Brexit Party MEP (REUTERS/Vincent Kessler)

In total, they declared up to 16.2 million euros of annual outside income, meaning the Brexit Party members, who hold less than 4% of seats, could account for more than a quarter of the total.

However, Transparency International says that many MEPs have not updated their declarations in years and there is no way to know how accurate they are.

“It’s self-reported, they can do whatever they want,” said Raphaël Kergueno, Policy Officer at Transparency International EU.

Another party with the highest outside earnings, found Transparency International, were Italy’s far-right Lega party.

The Brexit Party has been approached for a comment.

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