NI Assembly members get 27% pay cut

6 Sep 18

Northern Ireland Assembly members’ pay will be cut until the country’s executive is restored, the secretary of state for Northern Ireland has announced today.

Salaries will be cut from £49,500 down to £35,888 (a 27% drop) starting in November, Karen Bradley told the House of Commons.

The announcement comes as Northern Ireland enters its 20th month without an executive after talks of a power-sharing arrangement between the Democratic Unionist Party and Sinn Féin have continued to fail. 

Addressing the commons today, Bradley said: “While Assembly members continue to perform valuable constituency functions, it is clear that during any such interim period they will not be performing the full range of their legislative functions.

“So, in parallel I will take the steps necessary to reduce assembly members’ salary in line with the recommendation made by Trevor Reaney.”

Reaney is a former clerk and chief executive of the Northern Ireland Assembly, who was commissioned by then Northern Ireland secretary James Brokenshire to look into the issue of paying assembly members while there is no executive. 

Bradley added that the pay cut will not reduce the allowance of Northern Ireland Assembly members (MLAs)’ staff.

“I do not think that MLAs’ staff should suffer because of the politicians’ failure to form an executive,” Bradley said.

Reaney also recommended the allowance for the civil servants in Northern Ireland should be reduced from £50,000 to £37,5000. 

The pay cut will happen in two stages - £7,425 to begin with and then a further £6,187 in three months time.

Bradley said: “As this impasse continues, public services are suffering, businesses are suffering, the people of Northern Ireland are suffering.

“Local decision making is needed to address this.”

Bradley said in July she would legislate to fill vital public appointments in the continued absence of a functioning executive at Stormont.

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