One of Agora's ambitions is to be transparent and demonstrate solidarity in terms of how the organisation is funded.
This page explains some aspects of this approach: an overview of our funding streams thanks to the Open Collective platform and an explanation of the 'solidarity mechanism' that we apply to the salaries of our elected member of parliament and the employees of Agora.
The Open Collective platform allows you to see the funding streams of Agora. All our donors and outgoing expenses are published on our transparent and open register. See who gives money, how much, where the money goes, and more!
You can also support us by making a one-off donation through the platform or setting up a regular transfer!
Parliamentarians earn a lot of money. How much, exactly? What does Agora's representative in the Brussels Parliament do with his salary? And what does he have left over at the end of the month?
First of all, how much does a member of parliament earn in Belgium? The easy answer is: 7,611.40 euros gross per month. This is a substantial sum, amounting to approximately €3,900 per month net for a single person without children.
However, the calculation gets a little more complicated once we take into account the other allowances.
Parliamentarians receive additional allowances for specific roles, for example, and of course, there is also reimbursement of expenses.
A group president will receive €1096 gross per month for their extra work.
A member of parliament receives a fixed sum for expenses of €2,131.22.
A group president gets an additional expense allowance of €657.60.
All this money gets transferred into their bank account.
Dutch-speaking representatives in Brussels who are fraction leaders also receive an extra allowance as fraction presidents of the VGC (Flemish Community Commission). This consists of a "specific employment allowance" as a party president (€320 gross per month) and an expense allowance (€192.28 lump sum).
This overview includes the elements that go into a parliamentary salary but it does not take into account the extra benefits that members of parliament receive including the pension fund, free public transport, provision of computer equipment from Parliament, and extra hospitalisation insurance. These additional benefits are difficult to quantify, but this in no way means that they are insignificant.
What about taxes, then?
In principle, members of parliament receive a gross salary. However, a pension contribution is deducted from this amount. What remains is taxable, and they are advised to pay 50% of the tax in advance. No deductions are made from the flat-rate expense benefits.
The Agora salary
The median salary in Brussels
Agora wants to be organised in a horizontal way, for and by the people of Brussels. For this reason, we have chosen to ensure that all those who work for Agora in a professional capacity receive the same salary which is equal to the median gross salary in Brussels.
The median salary is the salary that would be right in the middle if we made a list of all salaries. The figure is lower than the average mean wage, because a small number of very high wages pull the mean upwards, but these do not affect the median. You can think of the median as "the middle one": half of the group is larger, the other half is smaller.
However, we do take into account people's seniority, because, after all, people who have been working for a long time usually earn more than those who are just starting out. Based on figures from stat.be, indexed for 2019, we calculated the median salary in Brussels as follows. For the salary at each seniority level, half of salaries in Brussels are higher than the calculated gross salary below, and the other half are lower.
Based on these calculations, our member of parliament, working full time, and if they had six years of seniority, would be allocated a salary of €3,620.23 gross. For a single person without dependent children, equals approximately € 2,254 net.
And the expenses? These are paid in full to Agora. If actual expenses are incurred, they can be recovered by the person concerned, on the basis of a receipt or invoice.
An acceptable salary
This means that an Agora parliamentarian will be left with 2,254 euros net. The rest is given voluntarily to the movement and goes towards organising the assembly. In our opinion, by living with a median salary in Brussels, politicians also ensure that they do not lose contact with the daily reality of Brussels residents.
More questions? Don't hesitate to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org