What German ministers do to save Money
by FFE EU News Staff
Government ministers in German earn around €14,000 a month. But despite the more-than-modest sum, they still want to save up by converting their offices to bedrooms come sun down.
Der Spiegel uncovered several ministers who sleep in the back room of their offices regularly. Family Minister Manuela Schwesig is one of those who choose to spend the night in their office rather than rent a flat.
Defence Minister Ursula von der Leyen built that room when she was still Family minister. But she didn’t drop the practice when she changed office: she sleeps in a tiny corridor in her new office nowadays. Other government officials who practice this are Justice Minister Heiko Maas and Labour Minister Andrea Nahles.
Parliamentary budget committee head Gesine Lötzsch said ‘With their abundant salary ministers should be in a position to rent a flat in the capital.’ The ministers do not pay rent for the lodging, but declare €221 monthly as ‘fringe benefit’ in their tax return forms.
Some lawyers criticised the practice, asking if it is ethical for ministers to ‘move in long term’ in the ministry.