Politicians’ Salaries and Benefits: What You Need to Know

2023-11-05 13:36:52

Published on Thursday July 13, 2023 at 3:26 p.m.

How much do our politicians earn? A real headache because it depends on a host of rules and obviously on each person’s personal (family) and tax situation, but here’s what we can tell you…

According to the budgetary documents, the salaries and representation expenses of the Prime and Deputy Primes were of the order of €246,000 gross in 2021 and €242,000 for “simple ministers”.

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Except that with the repeated indexations of the year 2022 (the following figures take into account the year 2022 and not yet the year 2023), these amounts have been indexed by almost €15,000.

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Alexander De Croo and his seven vice-premiers should thus receive more than €21,000 gross per month, or around €11,500 net, including representation costs and other compensation (housing or domestic costs).

The other ministers of the federal government receive a few hundred euros less, which still brings them to a net salary of around €11,000 per month. As for the remuneration of state secretaries, it is around €20,000 gross per month or €10,700 net.

In February 2022, the Court of Auditors published the (gross) remuneration of nearly ten thousand agents for the year 2020. We could thus read that Alexander De Croo (Open VLD) had received €199,605.75 as vice-president. Prime Minister and €64,066.55 as Prime Minister, a position he only held for three months in 2020, since the government was only “inducted” in October.

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His Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Mobility, Georges Gilkinet (Ecolo) had received €64,066.55 as a minister and €117,237.31 as a federal deputy, a position he held until October 2020. Another example : the Secretary of State for Recovery, Thomas Dermine (PS) who was not a parliamentarian before joining the government, “was satisfied” with €60,140.60 (to be added to a “previous” salary as as director of the Emile Vandervelde Institute (PS), announced rounded to €100,000 in the register of the Court of Auditors).

Benefits in kind

We would add that government representatives benefit from benefits in kind: a vehicle with driver, official accommodation (often at the office), sometimes a cook (also at the office), etc.

What about at the level of federated entities? Walloon and Wallonia-Brussels Federation ministers receive around €11,500 net monthly. In Wallonia, no remuneration (whatever the function) can exceed €245,000 gross per year (nevertheless indexed, which leads us today to exceed this ceiling by more than €20,000) and we will remember that there A few years ago, ministers committed to reducing their remuneration by 10% (a similar decision, but of 5%, was taken at the federal level under the Di Rupo government).

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If we return to the register of the Court of Auditors from last February, we see that in 2020 (full year for the new regional and community governments), Elio Di Rupo received €184,733.33 for his position as president of the Walloon government, while it is reported €189,409.98 for Vice-President MR, Willy Borsus; €189,671.43 for the Ecolo Vice-President, Philippe Henry or €189,480.95 for the Socialist Vice-President, Christie Morreale.

What about Flanders and Brussels?

At the Wallonia-Brussels Federation, €192,560.89 is reported for Minister-President Pierre-Yves Jeholet (MR), an amount almost identical to that of his ministers, Frédéric Daerden (PS), Caroline Désir (PS), Valérie Glatigny (MR) and Bénédicte Linard (Ecolo).

A quick glance in Flanders shows that the Minister-President, Jan Jambon (N-VA) declares €241,246.43 for the same year 2020. And it is even reported €253,140.35 for his CD&V vice-president, Hilde Crevits and his N-VA vice-president (Ben Weyts).

In Brussels, the salary of ministers falls slightly below €11,000 net per month and that of state secretaries is slightly above €10,000 net. The 2020 land register published by the Court of Auditors gives €229,801.62 for Minister-President Rudi Vervoort (PS), €200,000 for Minister Bernard Clerfayt (DéFI), €218,846.48 for Alain Maron (Ecolo)… But the secretaries of State posted from €206,000 (Nawal Ben Hamou, PS and Barbara Trachte, Ecolo) to €214,000 (Pascal Smet, Vooruit) for their mission in government. Finally, note that ministers from the German-speaking Community earn less, around €6,500 to €7,000 net per month. A difference explained by the very limited number of inhabitants in this part of the country.

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