I am a non-executive director of Hanson Transport and there are four board meetings a year. I was educated at Christ Church, Oxford University; and am an MBA graduate of the Harvard Business School. I am also a Chartered Accountant.
As an elected MEP for the UK Independence Party, along with all the other UK Independence Party's MEPs, my priority is to do myself out of my job by helping to secure Britain leaving the European Union.
Until this new term of the European Parliament beginning July 2009 MEPs were paid the same as MPs. However an MEP statute was passed in 2005 to govern MEPs salaries. The effect was that from July 2009 all MEPs are paid the same; this salary is 38.5 % of the salary of a Judge at the European Court of Justice.
When the MEP statute was originally passed, the effect would have been to reduce slightly a British MEP's salary: the salary would have been less than that of a Westminster MP. However the Euro has been a volatile currency, another reason why the UK should not be in the Euro
Now because of the volatility of the Euro, at the current exchange rate an MEP's salary works out at rather more than what is paid to Westminster MPs (by about 20%). I would vastly prefer to be paid in Pounds Sterling, but as it is I do not have that option.
My gross salary is 7,665 € a month and is paid after (compulsory) deduction of Social Security and European Community tax. There is an additional tax levied by the Inland Revenue to bring the amount of tax paid to the United Kingdom level.
- The European Parliament' secretarial allowances for an MEP are at current exchange rates, 1.5 x times the staff allowances received by a Westminster MP. With 55 parliamentary constituencies in the South Western electoral area, which I have the honour to represent, these allowances are fully committed.
- The actual monthly payments are made not to me, but to an external paying agent. In my case the paying agent is a firm of Accountants.
Employment of spouses and relatives
- According to the latest Register of MPs' financial interests, 175 MPs currently employ spouses or partners. A further 31 MPs employ other family members. Total 206 MPs.
- I made a personal pledge at the hustings that I would not - repeat not - employ a spouse, partner or other relative if elected. I am personally delighted that the European Parliament has in any case forbidden this practice for first time MEPs elected in 2009.
- British MEPs unlike MPs do not receive mortgages paid for by the British taxpayer, where the MPs keep the property and the Capital Gain. Nor do MEPs receive money from the taxpayer for furniture and groceries.
- What MEPs do receive is a subsistence allowance to pay for accommodation and subsistence in Brussels and Strasbourg. The amount is 298 € per day that the MEP is actually present in Brussels and Strasbourg. My experience has been that most of the subsistence allowance is necessary. However I am pledged to donate to charity the surplus after 12 months.
- Travel to and from Brussels and Strasbourg is reimbursed. 24 rail journeys within the UK are reimbursed which enables me to travel around the South West election area. Travel is only reimbursed on production of the actual tickets/boarding passes.