More than a century of debates around the remuneration of deputies
During a session of questions to the government, at the National ***embly, in Paris, on…
It’s a subject “particularly painful” for any member of parliament, as recognized in 1938 the deputy of Vienne Marcel Coquillaud (Democratic and independent radical left) in the hemicycle of the Palais-Bourbon.
The question of the remuneration of the deputies arouses fantasies, unsaid and suspicions which still feed today a latent anti-parliamentarianism. “In all our ridings, we talk about the compensation paid to us. (…) We are parliamentarians, and we must be whiter than white”, thus related to the gallery of the National ***embly, in 1990, the deputy of Val-de-Marne Jean-Jacques Jégou (Union of the center). The subject is also at the heart of the discussions between deputies, who oscillate between the embarr***ment of being better paid than the average French person and the need to have substantial means in the exercise of their functions.
As soon as it was established by a simple decree of the National Constituent ***embly, on 1er September 1789, the parliamentary allowance already enjoys a certain discretion on its contours. It is just mentioned “of a treatment” For “reimbur*****t of expenses” and ” traveling expenses “. “This decree was so well set apart that it remained beyond the reach of historians throughout the 20th century.e century “note Eric Buge, secretary general of the Study Group on Life and Parliamentary Institutions, attached to Sciences Po, and Etienne Ollion, director of research in sociology at the Center for Research in Economics and Statistics.
The co-authors ended up finding traces of “this founding piece” at the National Archives, one of the locations of a three-year survey to arrive at the first estimate of MPs’ income, “from 1914 to the present day”. “The fear of elected officials around the advertising of their remuneration is a very strong symbol: we cannot talk about it in a disp***ionate way, which is a real problem”explains Etienne Ollion.
“Accused of being venal”
In this study, published in the journal of Annals on April 26, the two researchers who had access to internal reports of the National ***embly, drawn up regularly on the financial situation of parliamentarians, demonstrated that elected officials have always been part of “from the top of the income hierarchy in France”.
The amount of the parliamentary allowance is thus well above the median income of the French – ie 72,175 euros gross annually for deputies, or more than three times the median salary in France, estimated at 19,849 euros gross. But, according to the data brought to light by MM. Buge and Ollion, parliamentarians experienced a “clear deterioration in their standard of living in both absolute and relative terms” from the 2000s, moving from the category of the 1% of the wealthiest French people to that of the 3% of the best paid French people.
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