MEPs currently receive the same salary as members of their national parliaments. As a result, Italian MEPs earn four times as much as their Spanish counterparts - and about 14 times more than MEPs from some new member states.
Unofficially, it is accepted that MEPs on lower salaries will supplement their incomes from their expenses budget. MEPs get 150,000 euros per year for office expenses and are not obliged to account for this expenditure.
They are also reimbursed for full-price air travel to and from their home country even if they fly by low-cost airline.
From 2009 all MEPs will receive the same fixed salary, set at 38.5% of the basic salary of a European Court of Justice judge. In 2005 that would have been 7,015 euros per month.