German lawmakers face criticism over wage system

MarketsAssociated Press

German lawmakers have voted to continue linking their pay to average wages, a move that has drawn criticism with no new government in place nearly three months after an election.

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Currently, lawmakers get 9,541.74 euros ($11,198.19) gross a month, plus expenses.

Lower-house lawmakers voted 504-152 Wednesday, with eight abstentions, to continue a system introduced last year under which their pay is adjusted annually in line with nationwide wage developments.

Mass-circulation Bild greeted the plan with the front-page headline: "No government, but they're already RAISING their wages."

Michael Grosse-Broemer, the chief whip of Chancellor Angela Merkel's Union bloc, defended the system. He said it had been proposed by experts after lawmakers previously faced "accusations of serving ourselves," and that a decision had to be made within three months of the election.