In a vote on August 5, members of Bulgaria’s 46th National Assembly rejected a proposal by Maya Manolova of the “Rise Up Bulgaria! We’re Coming” coalition to reduce the salaries of members of Parliament to 1570 leva a month, the average for the public sector.
In Bulgaria’s 240-seat National Assembly, the proposal was rejected by 109 votes against, 31 abstentions and eight in favour.
The rejection means that an MP’s basic salary will remain three times the average for the public sector.
Opposing Manolova’s proposal, Speaker Iva Miteva (of Slavi Trifonov’s ITN party) said that a new model of determining salaries in the state administration should be considered, which would eliminate disparities.
“I don’t know if Ms Manolova realises how the salaries in the state administration are determined. They are a percentage of the MPs’ salaries and the reduction of the salaries of the MPs will lead to a reduction in the money of the state administration,” Miteva said.
Miteva said that she agreed with the thesis that salaries should be formed in a new way, but without populism.
She said that the secretary general of the National Assembly and of the Cabinet and other institutions got higher pay than the Prime Minister of the Speaker of the National Assembly.
Miteva, who as an official headed a directorate of Parliament before being elected an MP, said that in her former post, her salary was higher than that she got as Speaker.
Manolova’s proposal for MPs to pay for their own transport costs, first-class air tickets and rail travel, as well as have their official cars taken away, also was rejected.
“I think that anyone who gets monthly salaries three times those in the public sector should be able to pay for their own air tickets,” she said.