Open Europe Blog

A tale of woe? 
Comparison with civil servants in the UK
The European Parliament has published a helpful graphic to explain the terrible conditions that EU civil servants have to endure. EU civil servants have to work 37.5 hours a week (i.e 9 – 5:30 with a merger hour for lunch) and retire at the age of 65 on a potential 70% of their final salary.

Not all EU civil servants are overpaid, some (for instance some contractors) are not, and many work hard but there are some interesting omissions in this particular public information advert, such as:

Number 1) An average EU yearly salary is approx £67,693 (€78,503).

Number 2) An average EU yearly salary is approx £78,524.23 (€91,064) if you claim the tax free 16% expatriate allowance (an estimated 70% of EU staff do this).
Number 3) EU officials pay tax at their own specially low rate. On an average EU salary + expat allowance of around £78,524.23 you would pay only £12,610.40 in EU tax (16.06% in total). Whereas in the UK you would pay £26,201.54 in tax (i.e. 33.36%).
And this is before going into the arcane details of travel expenses, household allowances and free school fees….we will leave it up to you as to whether these area really such bad working conditions.

Detail – Number of EU officials: 

Detail – EU tax:

If an EU official has a monthly salary 6,938.38 [83,260.56 per year] – he / she would pay EU tax of 1,292.53 per month [or 15,510.40 per year], the same as an annual UK salary of £67,693.3 and paying only £12,610.40 in tax (a marginal rate of 45% but an actual rate of only 18.6%).
However in the UK tax system an annual salary of £67,693.3 would set you back £21,652.55 in tax and National Insurance (i.e an actual rate of 32% and a marginal rate (inc NI) of 42%).

Many EU officials however claim a tax free expatriate allowance. If you add the 16% these EU officials can claim for not living in their own state then have an effective EU ‘salary’ of £78,524.23 with still only £12,610.40 paid in tax (16.06% in total). Whereas in the UK you would pay 26,201.54 in tax + NI on a salary of £78,524.23 (i.e. 33.36%).

In this case a tax saving of £13,591.54.

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