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At the 24 July 2014 plenary session of the Parliament, the Chairman of the Budget and Finance Committee, Davit Onoprishvili, made a statement: “The monthly gross wage of a Parliamentarian is GEL 2,000 and the take-home pay is GEL 1,600. Bonuses have not been awarded in the Parliament of Georgia since the beginning of 2013. In fact, we changed the previous practice of awarding bonuses after a month of taking office.”

Zakaria Kutsnashvili also talked about the wages of the MPs: “We, the MPs, have the lowest wages among the government officials. As of today, the heads of the ministry departments have higher wages and surpluses than a Member of Parliament. Even the staff of the Parliament has lower wages as compared to the employees of other government structures.”

FactCheck

took interest in this issue and verified the accuracy of the statements.

According to the official data published on the website of the Parliament, the total monthly income of the Parliamentarians consists of the wage and the surplus for exercising parliamentary authority. The wage of the MP is indeed equal to GEL 2,000 which comes down to GEL 1,600 after the income tax deduction; however, it should be noted that in addition the MPs receive a surplus for exercising parliamentary authority. As a result, the chairman of the Parliament has the highest monthly wage which is equal to GEL 5,905 (GEL 4,724 after deduction). The wage of an ordinary MP which does not hold any additional position in the Parliament is GEL 3,790 (GEL 3,032 after deduction). This is the minimum wage of a member of the Parliament.

List of Positions

Total Monthly Income

Sum

Wage

Surplus for Exercising Parliamentary Authority

1

Chairman of the Parliament

2,000.00

3,905.00

5,905.00

2

The First Deputy Chairperson of the Parliament

2,000.00

3,570.00

5,570.00

3

Deputy Chairman of the Parliament

2,000.00

3,505.00

5,505.00

4

Leader of the Parliamentary Majority

2,000.00

2,705.00

4,705.00

5

Leader of the Parliamentary Minority

2,000.00

2,705.00

4,705.00

6

Chairman of the Committee

2,000.00

2,705.00

4,705.00

7

Chairman of the Faction

2,000.00

2,635.00

4,635.00

8

Chairman of the Temporary Commission

2,000.00

2,105.00

4,105.00

9

Deputy Leader of the Parliamentary Majority

2,000.00

1,970.00

3,970.00

10

Deputy Leader of the Parliamentary Minority

2,000.00

1,970.00

3,970.00

11

The First Deputy Chairman of the Committee

2,000.00

1,970.00

3,970.00

12

Deputy Chairman of the Faction

2,000.00

1,905.00

3,905.00

13

Deputy Chairman of the Committee

2,000.00

1,905.00

3,905.00

14

Member of the Parliament

2,000.00

1,790.00

3,790.00

The amounts of surpluses for exercising parliamentary authority were determined by the 18 January 2013 decision of the Parliamentary Bureau. According to the decision, the MPs elected by proportional representation who do not use the automobiles owned by the Parliament receive a surplus of GEL 400.

Member of the Parliamentary Majority, Tina Khidasheli, also commented upon the issue of the wages. According to her, the wage of the MP is over GEL 3,000. “If we examine the law carefully, the wage of the MPs is GEL 1,600 plus almost the same amount of surplus for exercising parliamentary authority. The total sum is a bit more than GEL 3,000. The MPs who hold official positions in Parliament have higher wages. This is an absolutely normal amount and if someone has a wage of GEL 1,600 it means that he/she does not do the required work properly and, therefore, is subject to financial sanctions.”

FactCheck

also looked into the part of the statement of Mr Onoprishvili where he said that the bonuses have not been awarded in the Parliament since the beginning of 2013.

According to the data published on the website of the Parliament of Georgia, the amount of the bonuses awarded in the Parliament was equal to GEL 2,087,577.63 in 2013 and GEL 484,658.10 in the first quarter of 2014.

In order to clarify the information we contacted the Head of the Finance Supplies Department of the Parliament, Medea Sikharulidze. According to her, the MPs did not receive any bonuses in 2013 and 2014. Only the staff of the Parliament was given the bonuses in these years.

Conclusion

According to the official data published on the website of the Parliament, the total monthly income of the Parliamentarians consists of the wage and the surplus for exercising parliamentary authority. The wage of the MP is equal to GEL 2,000. The amount of the surplus depends upon the position held by the MP and varies from GEL 1,790 to GEL 3,905. Hence, the minimum gross monthly income of the MP is GEL 3,790. These data make it clear that in his statement, Davit Onoprishvili completely ignored the existence of surpluses.

According to Mr Onoprishvili, bonuses have not been awarded in the Parliament of Georgia since the beginning of 2013. According to the information published on the website of the Parliament, bonuses were distributed both in 2013 and 2014; however, the Head of the Finance Supplies Department of the Parliament, Medea Sikharulidze, told us that only staff of the Parliament and not the MPs received the surpluses in these years.

FactCheck concludes that Davit Onoprishvili’s statement: “The monthly gross wage of a Parliamentarian is GEL 2,000 and the take-home pay is GEL 1,600. Bonuses have not been awarded in the Parliament of Georgia since the beginning of 2013,” is MOSTLY FALSE.