Many MPs work part-time in local politics

The deadline for transparency reports ahead of the National Council elections ended on Sunday. The figures are somewhat skewed because many of the 183 MPs have multiple secondary jobs: 72 MPs find time for two or more paid activities in addition to their mandate. Axel Kassegger from the FPÖ and Andreas Minnich from the ÖVP have eight each. Both are entrepreneurs and run their own companies. Kassegger is the head of the FPÖ education institute, a city councilor in München in Korneuburg and an officer of the chamber of commerce.

A surprising number of National Council members serve in local politics in addition to their mandate. A total of 52 reported political mandate or employment at the municipal level. 30 mandates reported various self-employment activities, 25 working in their own companies, half of whom were ÖVP MPs. Then there are 22 paid officials or employees of chambers and trade unions (mainly from ÖVP and SPÖ) as well as 15 forced employees with a farm. 14 constables work directly for parties or party organizations, 13 each work in the federal or state service and other private companies.

This year MPs will receive €10,351.39 per month from the state. They should also mention how much money they earn in addition to their mandate once a year. To do this, they classify themselves into one of five income categories. The registration deadline for 2023 ended on Sunday.

This time again the top earners are freelancers and party managers. These included lawyer and ÖVP general secretary Christian Stocker and notaries Harald Stephan and Volker Reifenberger (both FPÖ). Dell manager Karin Doppelbauer (NEOS), ÖVP MP Kurt Egger (General Secretary of the Economic Union) and Alexander Melchior are also in category 5 with high incomes beyond 12,000 euros a month. He was ÖVP General Secretary until the end of 2021, then joined the Ortner family’s IGO Industries. The only SPÖ MP in this income bracket is construction and wood trade unionist Josef Muchic – a newcomer among the highest earners.

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However, the majority of salaries in parliament are middle income category 3 (between 4,001 and 8,000 euros per month). There are 45 MPs including Kasekhar and Minnich. A further 33 reported lower category 2 (i.e. 1,151 to 4,000 euros), 27 MPs earned up to an additional 1,150 euros (category 1) and 50 MPs reported no additional income in the previous year. This includes national council president Wolfgang Sobotka and club presidents, who are highly paid and therefore subject to a professional ban. By the way, government members are also not allowed to do part-time jobs. 15 Commandments fall into the second highest category 4.

The Greens report very little additional income. Of the 26 MPs, 16 have registered additional income in the lowest two categories for 2023. So you can earn a maximum of 4,000 euros per month. Another eleven MPs reported no additional income. Only the SPÖ has more full-time mandates (ie 16). 181 out of 183 mandates reported income – two NEOS MPs appointed to the National Council this year (Sep Schellhorn and Carl Arlamowski) are not yet required to report for 2023.

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