IMF chief pays no tax on salary of half a million

Wed, May 30, 2012, 01:00

CHRISTINE LAGARDE, the IMF boss who caused international outrage after she suggested in an interview with the Guardian newspaper last week that beleaguered Greeks might do well to pay their taxes, pays no taxes, it has emerged.

As an official of an international institution, she has a salary of $467,940 plus $83,760 additional allowance a year – none of which is subject to tax. The former French finance minister took over as managing director of the IMF last year when she succeeded her disgraced compatriot Dominique Strauss-Kahn, who was forced to resign after he faced charges – later dropped – of sexually attacking a New York hotel maid.

Ms Lagarde (56) receives a pay and benefits package worth more than that of American president Barack Obama, and he pays taxes on his earnings.

The same applies to nearly all United Nations employees – article 34 of the Vienna convention on diplomatic relations of 1961, which has been signed by 187 states, declares: “A diplomatic agent shall be exempt from all dues and taxes, personal or real, national, regional or municipal.”

According to Ms Lagarde’s contract, she is also entitled to a pay rise on July 1st every year during her five-year contract.

Base salaries range from $46,000 to $80,521. Senior salaries range between $95,394 and $123,033 but these are topped up with adjustments for the cost of living in different countries. A UN worker based in Geneva, for example, will see their base salary increased by 106 per cent, in Bonn by 50.6 per cent, Paris 62 per cent and Peshawar 38.6 per cent. Even in Juba, the capital of South Sudan, one of the poorest areas of the world, a UN employee’s salary will be increased by 53.2 per cent.

Other benefits include rent subsidies, dependency allowances for spouses and children, education grants for school-age children and travel and shipping expenses, as well as subsidised medical insurance. – (Guardian service)