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Italian MPs earn €122 for each hour spent in parliament

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Italian MPs earn €122 for each hour spent in parliament
Italian MPs are earning less than they used to. Photo: Fillipo Monteforte / AFP
11:30 CET+01:00
Politicians in Italy net an impressive €122 for each hour they spend debating bills in parliament, but that's still much less than they used to make.

The hourly rate was calculated by La Stampa, based on government activity since April 28th 2013, when Enrico Letta's Democratic Party government came to power.

Since then, Italian MPs have been involved in 563 parliamentary sessions, with each session averaging 16.1 meetings and each meeting lasting an average of 5.4 hours.

Given that their net pay equates to some €5,245 a month - a figure which was set in 2012 - this means that Italian MPs have received a whopping €122 for each hour spent in parliament.

Of course, this figure does not take into account the expenses each MP is entitled to claim each month, which average some €4,000 – but goes some way to showing how they are still handsomely remunerated for their services.

In return for its cash, the Italian government has passed 226 legislative acts since April 28th, 2013, which is not a bad return. Governments of yesteryear have averaged much higher hourly rates.

Between April 1995 and May 1996 Italian MPs were paid the equivalent of €250 in today's money for each hour spent in parliament.

“Today's politicians work much more than in the years of the first Republic [all ruling governments between 1948 and 1992] but often they work badly,” political analyst Gianfranco Pasquino told La Stampa.

“Often it's not their fault either – the people organizing their work are often inexperienced.”

Obviously, between constituency work, canvassing and making media appearances, Italy's MPs are not exclusively paid to sit in parliament.

According to details of a study published in 2013 by the International Political Science Association (Ipsa), at an average €153,000 year, Italian MPs’ salaries were among the highest in the world. At the time of the study, Norwegian MPs earned €112,000 a year, while in Germany they earned €99,000 and in France €71,000.

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