Wachtgeld

Government ministers, members of parliament and local authority councillors who are out of a job following an election are entitled to generous unemployment benefit packages called wachtgeld (literally ‘waiting money’). For example, MPs are entitled to 80% of their €86,000 plus salary for the first year and 70% for a maximum of six years. They are still entitled to a top-up even if they find a new job which pays less than they earned as MPs. Government ministers, MPs and councillors can claim wachtgeld even if they resigned.