Nigel Farage refuses to give up £73,000 EU pension

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Former Ukip leader Nigel Farage has been accused of "appalling hypocrisy" for refusing to give up a £73,000 per year EU pension that is set to be paid for from the UK's Brexit bill.

Mr Farage said he would not give up his pension entitlement, telling the Andrew Marr Show: "Why should my family and others suffer even more?"

Up to 10 billion euro of the UK's anticipated 50 billion divorce bill is set to pay for the pensions of EU officials and MEPs, with Mr Farage in line for a £73,000 income after Brexit.

Brussels parliamentarians are due 3.5% of their salary for each full as an MEP, up to 70% of total earnings, funded by European taxpayers. Mr Farage will have served 20 years by the time the UK leaves the EU in 2019, netting around £7,500 a month.

The EU's fiercest critic is also reported to be enrolled in a second pension scheme originally set up to top up pensions of MEPs from poorer member states. The scheme, which 38 of the UK's 73 serving MEPs are enrolled in, will top up Mr Farage's pension by £42,000. He will be eligible to claim the pension in ten years, when he reaches 63, three years before pensioners in the UK.

Reports suggest Mr Farage is also in line for a relocation payment of up to 200,000 euro once he ceases to be an MEP.

Liberal Democrat Brexit spokesman Tom Brake said: “Nigel Farage is a shameless hypocrite. He rails against the so-called EU gravy train, but is happy to cash in when it suits him.

“No doubt he also secretly backs the £50bn Brexit divorce bill that includes money to pay for his EU pension.”

Asked if he would take his pension despite criticising the size of the UK's Brexit 'divorce bill', Mr Farage said: "All I can say is, given the arbitrary way the European Union behaves in terms of money, I'd be very surprised if I get any of it.

"I'm not going to get it anyway. So I don't think this would even occur."

He added: "Of course I would take it. I've said that from day one. Why should my family and others suffer even more?

"It is not hypocrisy. I've just voted to get rid of my job. I was the turkey that voted for Christmas. How is that hypocrisy? If it was hypocrisy, I'd have said we should stay in the EU."