Cassola asks Standards Commissioner to investigate parliamentary secretary salaries

The independent candidate has asked the commissioner to investigate whether there had been an increase in parliamentary secretaries’ salaries since 2013

MEP candidate and former AD chairman Arnold Cassola has written to Standards Commissioner George Hyzler asking him to investigate whether parliamentary secretaries' salaries have increased
MEP candidate and former AD chairman Arnold Cassola has written to Standards Commissioner George Hyzler asking him to investigate whether parliamentary secretaries' salaries have increased

Independent MEP candidate Arnold Cassola has written to Commissioner for Standards George Hyzler, asking him to investigate whether parliamentary secretaries’ salaries had increased since 2013.

“In light of the twisting of words regarding parliamentary secretaries’ wages and in light of the fact that the salary of a parliamentary secretary in 2013 was €42,000 and in light of the fact that parliamentary secretaries declared an income of €60,000 in 2018, I ask you to investigate [this increase],” Cassola said in his letter to the commissioner.

He asked the Hzyler to investigate why the government had made no announcement regarding the increase and why it had been decided that the increase was merited.

Cassola pointed to figures from a leaked government internal report published in the local media back in 2015, which listed a parliamentary secretary’s salary as being €42,242.

On Saturday, the government denied media reports, as well as claims made by Nationalist MP Jason Azzopardi, that parliamentary secretaries’ salaries had been increased by stealth since 2013.

Azzopardi, who was himself a parliamentary secretary before the present Labour administration came to power in 2013, said in a number of Facebook posts over the weekend that during the 2008-2012 legislature, he had always received a salary of roughly €60,000. This included a €40,000 salary for a parliamentary secretary and a €20,000 honorarium.

He argued that the fact that since after 2011 it had decided that cabinet members would not receive a parliamentary honorarium, that their salary should be somewhere in the region of €45,000.

The government has however insisted that a parliamentary secretary’s salary today is the same as it was before 2013.

According to a report by the National Audit Office in 2011, a parliamentary secretary’s salary is equal to 105% of a Scale 1 salary, with additional duty allowance amounting to 20% of their salary, a car allowance of €7,000 and a number of other perks.

Assuming that the salary is still calculated in the same manner, parliamentary secretaries’ take-home salary would have increased proportionately to the increase in a Scale 1 salary, which increased from €34,585 to €44,782 between 2011 and 2018.

More in National