The annual pre-tax salary of MEPs is €120,900
These salaries are paid out of the European Parliament’s overall budget, which is agreed every year.
MEPs, like other staff members of EU institutions then pay EU taxes and make insurance contributions. Every year, I then make additional tax, USC and PRSI contributions to the Irish Revenue Commissioners to ensure that I pay the same as Irish taxpayers.
Travel and Subsistence allowance
Travel to and from Brussels from an MEP’s home Member State is booked and paid for by the European Parliament. All payments are based on the actual cost of travel as per invoices, receipts and the submission of boarding passes.
In general, I travel three weeks out of four to Brussels, and one week in four to Strasbourg. This includes return flights from Cork to Amsterdam, and then train connections to Brussels. When travelling to Strasbourg, I drive to Dublin, fly to Frankfurt and take a bus to the Parliament in Strasbourg City.
Parliament pays a flat-rate subsistence allowance (€338) for each day of attendance at official meetings of Parliamentary bodies within the European Union. This allowance is to cover accommodation, meals and all other expense. The allowance is paid only if the Member has signed an official attendance register.
General expenditure allowance
This allowance is paid to cover the costs involved in running a constituency office including rent, insurance, heating, electricity, cleaning and maintenance costs.
Additionally; postal charges, phone bills, internet subscriptions, office supplies, stationary, newspapers, graphic design costs, printing, literature and distribution costs are covered.
The allowance is also used to defray the cost of hotels and subsistence when travelling within my constituency, which includes the six counties of Munster plus counties, Carlow, Kilkenny, Wicklow, Wexford, Laois and Offal in Leinster.
The allowance is also used to cover costs relating to the organisation of events, conferences, seminars, exhibitions and public meetings.
This allowance of €4,950 per month.
MEPs employ staff within a fixed budget set by Parliament. At present, I employ four full time staff members – three Accredited Parliamentary Assistants (APAs) in Brussels and a Local Assistant based in Cork. None of my staff are related to me.
APAs are paid directly by the European Parliament’s administration. The administration of contracts for, and payments to, local assistants is handled independently by a paying agent.
In the case of my local assistance in Cork, I have contracted a qualified accountant, to ensure that all appropriate tax and PRSI contributions are paid. MEPs play no role in the administration of contracts. Staff work according to agreed conditions set out in the employment contract.
My staff budget is also used to cover all the costs of my staff travelling, including monthly travel to the Parliament in Strasbourg.
You can find the details of all my staff here.
As part of my role as an MEP and public representative, I meet with a wide range of people, groups, organisations, businesses, trade unions and lobbyists to discuss issues and legislative files going through Parliament.
I firmly believe that this improves legislative outcomes for citizens.
MEPs are required to record who they meet and when, especially when it relates to an ongoing legislative file. In addition, Irish based lobbyists and organisations must submit regular lobbying returns to the Irish Lobbying Register. You can see my past meetings with stakeholders here.