Minister’s brother earns more than the PM

Economic affairs minister Maria van der Hoeven has been forced to increase the salary of top civil servant Jérôme Verhagen to above that of the prime minister, reports Saturday’s Financieele Dagblad.

Under government guidelines, public sector workers should not earn more than the prime minister’s €171,000 salary.
Jérôme Verhagen heads the Limburg regional development company Liof (part of the economic affairs ministry) and is the brother of foreign affairs minister Maxime Verhagen.
The FD found out last year that Jérôme Verhagen was paid more than €10,000 on top of his Liof salary for his membership of two supervisory boards in which the organisation has a stake.
This construction was put together to attract Verhagen, who then worked at Philips, to the company in September 2006, the paper says. Van der Hoeven had not known about the deal and rejected it once she found out.
But now the minister has had to compensate by increasing Verhagen’s salary to over €200,000 (including pensions and social premiums), says the FD. The rise is ‘unavoidable in view of Verhagen’s legal position’, the minister told the paper.

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