Setting your own wage: The debate surrounding remuneration of Members of Parliament in Germany


  • Heiner Salomon



This paper examines the debate surrounding the remuneration of Members of Parliament in Germany. It analyzes grey literature, speeches and newspaper articles to shed a light on the debate. With the tool of analytical discourse analysis by Toulmin it scrutinizes the “selfdetermination should be abolished”-argument, which is very salient in the public discussion on the topic. The underlying arguments are being extracted, described and finally evaluated on their validity. Thereby, three main questions emerge: Does increasing their remuneration really increase a Member of Parliament’s utility? Is there really no external control on the determination of Members’ of Parliament remuneration? Does higher remuneration for Members of Parliament really increase taxes? All those three questions are answered in the negative by the author. First, the growth in utility resulting from an increase of Members of Parliament remuneration, which is overestimated by the public, can be assumed to be much lower. Second, there is external oversight on the self-determination process provided by the public. Finally, the tax increase as a result of an increase in Members of Parliament remuneration is neglectable.


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