Italy: Parliamentary barbers' pay trimmed to 99,000 euros

Man having hair cut by barber

The Italian parliament's barbers are having their top pay cut to 99,000 euros (£77,000) a year as part of an austerity drive.

Eyebrows were raised last year at revelations that barbers employed to keep MPs well-groomed can earn up to 136,000 euros depending on time in the job. But plans agreed by MPs' committees in both houses of parliament mean 37,000 euros will now be shaved off this sum to save costs, Quotidiano Libero reports.

And it's not just the barbers - the chamber of deputies' chief of staff will see his pay drop from 480,000 euros to 360,000, parliamentary aides from 358,000 to 240,000 and technicians from 152,000 to 106,000. To give those affected time to adjust, the changes will be phased in over four years.

The reform has left some Italians underwhelmed. "Even the new figures make your head spin," Today website comments. "The barber of parliament will earn only 7,600 euros a month", one Twitter user exclaims. "I'm thinking of organising a collection." To a comment wondering why someone would need "such a high salary" to cut MPs' hair, one jokes: "80% don't even have any hair."

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