Bulgaria hikes pay for MPs, Prime Minister and President

Bulgarian President Roumen Radev, Prime Minister Boiko Borissov and his Cabinet, as well as MPs and other public office-bearers are all getting salary increases on the basis of a formula that calculates their pay according to the average wage in the public sector.

Radev’s salary as head of state jumps to about 11 044 leva (about 5646 euro) a month, an increase of about 2000 leva a month, just more than a year after he took office.

Borissov, in his third term as head of government, now will get more than 7000 leva a month, the first Bulgarian prime minister since the dawn of democracy in Bulgaria to cross that threshold. Speaker of the National Assembly Tsveta Karayancheva will get about 5900 leva a month.

For Bulgaria’s top office-bearers, pay is calculated on add-ons to the basic salary of a member of Parliament, which in turn is based on the average salary in the public sector in the previous quarter.

In the fourth quarter of 2017, the average salary in Bulgaria increased by 5.6 per cent, a sum of about 1095 leva, while in the public sector, the average salary was 1180 leva a month in that quarter.

MPs’ salaries are arrived at by tripling the public sector salary, meaning that now they increase from 3243 leva to 3540 leva a month. However, MPs’ pay is supplemented by various factors, including memberships of parliamentary committees, with almost all MPs being members of such committees. This adds about a further 1000 leva.

The top office-bearers’ salaries also include a calculation that supplements them according to years of service, adding about one to 1.6 per cent per year.

Radev, because of his more than three decades in Bulgaria’s military – before resigning to stand in the 2016 presidential elections, he was commander of the Bulgarian Air Force – gets his 11 044 leva a month as a result of this, adding on to the formula that pays a head of state double the salary of an MP. Similarly, Borissov’s salary also is supplemented because of years of service, topping up the prime minister’s salary that is worked out by taking an MP’s salary and adding 55 per cent.

Cabinet ministers are to get 4602 leva a month, to which various supplements are added, while they also are paid – like all other public servants – a per diem allowance when travelling on official business.

Official statistics showed that in Bulgaria, the largest pay increases in the final quarter of 2017 were in the education sector, of just more than 19 per cent, a result of the current government’s policy – though off a low base, with teachers getting an average of just more than 700 leva a month.

(Photo of Radev and Borissov: president.bg)



The Sofia Globe staff

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