Parliamentary Bureau: 463 trips using official car while also claiming travel allowance
Speaker Borràs renounced her travel allowance in January
BarcelonaOne of parliamentary parties' commitments this term was to reform MPs' salaries so that allowances they receive for travel according to where they live –whether they justify them or not– are taxed, since they are currently exempt from personal income tax. The case of Parliamentary bureau members is even more controversial, since they receive travel allowances despite having an official car at their disposal. In the case of the Speaker, it is at their disposal every day. ARA made a freedom of information request on January 28 –the data, therefore, is from this date– to know what trips the current bureau members have made with an official vehicle and the compensation they have also received for travel. We also asked for this data on the last two parliaments.
The current Speaker, Laura Borràs, since the beginning of her tenure, has made 235 trips an official car and received €1,414 per month in travel allowance, as paid to MPs who live in Barcelona. However, according to sources close to the Speaker, Borràs (JxCat) stated in the month of January that she would renounce this allowance because she already has an official car. The same sources explain that she took the decision once she verified that parliamentary groups, although they had committed to reach an agreement to reform MPs' salaries at the end of 2021, still have not reached any deals and everything remains the same. Borràs is the first Speaker to make this decision. The previous Speakers made use of the official car and also received the travel allowance.
According to the data from the freedom of information request, first deputy speaker Alba Vergés (ERC), who has an official car at her disposal "most" of the day, has made 103 trips at Parliament's expense and yet was paid €1,414 per month as travel allowance. It is the same amount as the second deputy speaker, Assumpta Escarp (PSC), although she has only made use of the official car 33 times, and fourth secretary Ruben Wagensberg (ERC), who also received €1,414 per month and used the vehicle 8 times to attend bureau events or to go to the airport. As for the second secretary of the table, Aurora Madaula (JxCat), she received €1,839 per month – she receives more because she lives outside Barcelona – and used her official car 39 times. Ferran Pedret (PSC), receiving a €1,414 per month allowances, has used the official car twice. The only one who has not used the official car is Pau Juvillà (CUP).
- Laura Borràs Until January 2022 she received €1,414 per month in travel allowances despite having an official car. This year she has decided to forego the allowance.
- Roger Torrent He used an official car throughout the whole term (Parliament estimates that he made 300 trips a year) and also received €2,154 euros per month in travel allowance.
- Carme Forcadell She made a similar amount of trips as Torrent (about 300 per year) using her official Parliament car. She also received €2,006 per month as travel allowance.