The estate of M.P.s must be declared at the beginning and end of each term in order to be sure that they have not taken advantage of their office to gain undue wealth. This verification is carried out by an independent body, the committee for financial transparency in political life (CTVP).
As of July, 1st, 2010, the gross monthly allowances are as follows :
From a tax point of view, the basic parliamentary allowance plus the residential allowance but not the attendance allowance, is taxable at the rates applicable to normal income.
The following amounts are deducted from the gross monthly allowance :
Each MP gets an office within the Palais Bourbon or the other Assemblée buildings.
From the Palais Bourbon, they have access to mail, phone and fax facilities as well as a car pool.
To cover extra office costs, MPs get an operational expenses allowance of €6 380.
They also may have a parliamentary staff allowance of € 9 093 to recruit up to 5 aides.
Upon request, they get a yearly travel card on the French railway system.
They may also require 80 flights per year between the constituency and Paris.
An annual allocation equal to, for M.P.s from overseas departments and Mayotte, the cost of 26 trips in ‘business class’ between Paris and the constituency and, for overseas M.P.s elected for a community of the Pacific, the cost of 16 trips in first class between Paris and the constituency.
There are different catering options within the Assemblée, for the use of which MPs pay themselves.
The office of M.P. may not be combined with that of Senator, that of Member of the European Parliament (M.E.P.) and with that of President of the Republic.
It is also forbidden to combine the office of M.P. with more than one of the following offices: regional councillor, departmental councillor, city councillor of Paris, councillor in the Assembly of Corsica and local councillor in a town of more than 3,500 inhabitants.
However, it remains possible to combine the office of M.P. with one local executive office (President of a Regional Council, President of a Departmental Council, mayor)
The office of M.P. may not be combined with the position of member of the Government, of the Constitutional Council or of the Economic, Social and Environmental Council. Nor may it be combined with the position of judge or member of the High Council of the Judiciary.
More generally, the combination of non-elected public positions with that of the office of M.P. is considered incompatible and civil servants who find themselves in such a situation upon their election are placed in secondment. Nonetheless, M.P.s may continue to hold certain positions in higher education.
Temporary missions at the Government’s request are considered compatible with the office of M.P., as long as they do not exceed six months.
Thus it is prohibited to combine the office of M.P. with managerial positions in organizations closely dependent upon public authority, in certain private companies working with or subsidized by the State or public authorities as well as those in the real estate field.
In addition, it is prohibited for M.P.s who are lawyers to plead against the State, state-owned companies, or public bodies and establishments. It is also prohibited for M.P.s to allow his name followed by his position to be used in any advertisement for a commercial, financial or industrial company.
M.P.s must, within two months of taking up office, resign from all incompatible activities and submit to the Bureau a declaration of professional activities or of general interests which they intend to continue. Those M.P.s not providing such a declaration are required to resign.
In the case of doubt or of a challenge, the Bureau refers the matter to the Constitutional Council. The Minister of Justice and the M.P. in question may also refer the matter to the Constitutional Council. If the Constitutional Council finds in favour of incompatibility then the M.P. has two weeks to rectify the situation. If he does not do so within this limit, he is declared to have resigned from office by the Constitutional Council.
When an act contravening the rules in the field of pleading or the use of the title of M.P. has been committed, the penalty is instantaneous. The M.P. in question is declared to have resigned from office by the Constitutional Council, upon the request of the Bureau or the Minister of Justice.
They pass laws and monitor the executive. They generally belong to political groups representing the main French political parties and sits on one of the 8 standing committees.
It is not compulsory for MPs to be present at plenary sittings. However, taking into account delegations of vote, votes on motions of censure and excuses, if during a session an MP fails to take part in at least two-thirds of the public votes, this shall lead to the forfeiture of one-third of the MP’s salary for a duration equal to that of the session. If the same MP has taken part in less than half of the votes, this forfeiture is doubled.
In committees, attendance is compulsory : if a member is absent more than twice in a month, taking into account meetings of the committee which are held whilst the House is sitting and/or the presence of the M.P. at another standing committee, each subsequent absence shall be liable to a deduction of 25% in his monthly working allowance.
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M.P.s must be affiliated to the National Assembly social security scheme which was set up by the Bureau in 1948 and is managed by a committee made up of the three Questeurs and a representative of each of the political groups. This scheme provides sickness and maternity benefits in kind and attributes a lump sum (or allocations) in the case of death.
The M.P.s’ pension scheme, which was set up by a resolution of the Chamber of Deputies on December 23, 1904 is funded by a contribution provided by the parliamentary allowance and by a subvention included in the budget of the National Assembly.
Pensions are calculated according to the number of years of contribution ; M.P.s provide a double contribution during their first fifteen years of office.
Pension rights are opened at 60 years of age. The average age at which M.P.s activate their pension is 65 years of age. The pension is calculated on a pro rata of the number of annual contributions made. This number has a ceiling which is gradually being raised to reach forty-one annual contributions in 2012.
The current net monthly pension for an M.P. is €2 700.
For a month, they are members of the Cabinet and MPs. After this month, their substitute becomes MP. When they leave the Cabinet, they get their former seat back.
Resignations must be addressed in writing to the President of the National Assembly, who brings them to the attention of the Assembly at the first following sitting and notifies the Government.
A by-election is then organized within three months.
Nevertheless, no by-election may take place within the twelve months preceding the expiry of the powers of the National Assembly.
The vacant seat is then filled by the substitute elected with the MP. Nevertheless, no replacement may take place within the twelve months preceding the expiry of the powers of the National Assembly.