Dozens of MPs are failing to declare their outside income: BNR

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Dozens of MPs are failing to declare their outside earnings and may be receiving more than they should in compensation for their parliamentary work, radio station BNR reported on Monday.

In total, 90 MPs and former MPs failed to meet this year’s declaration deadline and 50 have still not done so, BNR said. The broadcaster bases its claims on internal correspondence between parliamentary officials obtained using freedom of information legislation.

Declaring outside income can have a major impact on MPs’ salaries. If they earn more than €17,000 (14% of their parliamentary pay) via other work, they face a pay cut, which can mount up to €40,000 a year.

MPs can opt not to declare outside income and accept the maximum €40,000 cut, and three who were late in making a declaration this year have opted for that, BNR said.

MPs have been required to report their outside earnings since 1990.

Constitutional law professor Paul Bovend’Eert told BNR he is surprised more has not been said about MPs’ failings to meet the requirement. ‘Everyone can make a complaint to the MPs’ integrity committee,’ he said. ‘It is important that more is done to ensure outside income is registered.’

Earlier this year, far right MP Thierry Baudet was suspended for failing to record his work for the party’s publishing company in the register of MPs’ outside interests.

In 2020 television current affairs show Zembla published a list of 33 MPs who had either not made a declaration or had left aspects out.

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