US legislators salary

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 04 September, 1994, 12:00am
UPDATED : Sunday, 04 September, 1994, 12:00am

US LEGISLATORS are a reasonably cosseted lot. The basic salary for members of both the House of Representatives and the Senate is set at US$133,600 a year (HK$1.03 million) . . . but that's just the start of it.

They also get a huge support staff, with most lawmakers employing 15 to 20 aides to run their offices . . . all of it paid for by the state.

In the Senate, a member is given an allowance to pay for staff, calculated in relation to the population of the state they represent. These payments range from US$1.06 million in the smallest state, up to a whopping US$1.93 million.

In addition, every senator is given an extra US$377,000 to supply staff for their duties serving on Senate committees and sub-committees.

Senators also get an allowance to cover the rental of a Washington office and travel costs. This varies depending on the distance from Washington to their home state, but runs between US$40,000 and US$200,000 a year.

Since all members of the House of Representatives have the same sized constituencies (in population terms) it's easier to calculate.

They each get US$570,000 a year for staffing, with which they are limited to hiring up to 18 full-time and four part-time staff. They also receive similar general expenses as senators.

In Taiwan, legislators receive a monthly salary of $50,975. But unlike our legislators, they also get an annual bonus equal to one-and-a-half months' salary.

The legislative Yuan also provides support staff, with each member getting six aides on a monthly salary of $14,280 each.