Italian MPs faced pressure to impose austerity on themselves on Tuesday after the publication of a report highlighting their €11,283 (£9,330) a month basic salary plus €3,503 (£2,987) "cost of living" allowance.
The study led by the head of the national statistics agency Enrico Giovannini looked at how much MPs cost the public purse in Italy compared to France, Germany, Spain, the Netherlands, Belgium and Austria.
The findings show that a member of the Italian Chamber of Deputies' €11,283 is 60 per cent above the average, followed by €8,503 (£7,038) for a Dutch MP and down to as little as €2,813 (£2,328) for one in Spain.
The Italian salary is fully taxed, but there are perks that are either more generous than, or similarly generous to other countries.
On top of the tax-free cost of living allowances they receive free travel on trains, planes, boats and Italian highways.
Only German MPs have a higher cost of living allowance at nearly €4,000 (£3,300) a month, while their Belgian counterparts get none.
Adding to the strain on public coffers is £3,000 worth of office expenses the government spends every month for each deputy.
Only France spends more, though both France and Germany spend much more to pay the MP's assistants - a maximum of €14,712 (£12,178) in Germany, while Italian deputies have to pay their assistants out of the office budget.
Antonio Di Pietro, head of the centre-left Italy of Values party, said: "When it comes to pay cuts for the pensioners, workers and the poor, there is immediately cross-party agreement in parliament.
"Now parliament can no longer find excuses to not approve cuts to its privileges."
Mr Di Pietro warned that, as it stands, MPs form an elite "caste," making them "alien" from their constituents.
Last month Italian MPs passed a vote of confidence in President Mario Monti's plan to slap Italian citizens with more austerity.
Female employees now have to work until 62 before they are eligible for the state pension, while male workers will have to toil until they are 66 before retirement - and most payments will lose the link with inflation.
The pension age for women will rise to 66 from 2018.
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