What is the cost of MPs for the citizens?

Regarding the statement of MP of Democratic Party of Socialists (DPS) Zoran Jelić in the Parliament of Montenegro, with regard to the information from the analysis of Centre for Civic Education (CCE) “Facts and prejudice – financing of NGOs and political parties in Montenegro from public funds”, which determined, based on publically available information, that the cost of a single MP on annual level amounts 64.556, 04 EUR, CCE indicates that:

MP Jelić is right when he says that not all of the MPs cost the same, in other words, that amount is much higher in the case of parties with lower number of MPs, percentage-wise, compared to those with higher number of MPs.

However, he is not right when he says that MPs cost the state 20, 000 EUR in average.Namely, the overall amount which counts as an investment in one MPs includes the allocation of funds to political parties based on number of seats, then the salary of an MP, as well as the cost of professional staff. When summed up, we come up with an average amount of 64.556, 04 EUR for 2014, as was previously published by CCE.

As a reminder, CCE analysed the period 2013-2015 in its research, whereby the year in between was a mark for the average amount, noting that the figure for 2015 was higher, or € 74,908.70.

Precisely yesterday the Agency for the Prevention of Corruption disclosed its assessment, which is in favour of the CCE’s claims. Of course, the Agency had access to information to which CCE was not able to get by during the research.

Finally, the essence is that the percentage of allocation for political parties from the budget of Montenegro is higher compared to the countries of region, or the EU member states. To this end, CCE welcomes the proposal of Secretary General of Parliament of Montenegro, Siniša Stanković, to create a precise calculation regarding the cost of every individual MP for the Budget of Montenegro which would further open the space for the analysis of work and performance of MPs compared to the allocated amounts for their work and thus provide a clearer picture to citizens of Montenegro on the work and achievements of our representatives.

Nikola Djonović, Programme coordinator