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DUP 'revolving' ministers told to come clean on pay

 DUP health minister Simon Hamilton has been castigated for resigning and being reappointed four times in the last month but is getting paid for hours worked 
 
Seanin Graham

EXCLUSIVE: DUP ministers are being paid for the hours worked between their reappointment and resignation, the Irish News can reveal.

The party has repeatedly said its temporary ministers are not taking any payments, but had to correct this yesterday.

Now the DUP accepts that its ministers are getting paid, but insists it members “will not keep any ministerial salary.”

Since Peter Robinson first withdrew the majority of his party's ministers from the executive on September 10 they have been reappointed at various stages to avoid their portfolios going to rival parties.

DUP health minister Simon Hamilton has been castigated for resigning and being reappointed four times in the last month while waiting lists increase to record levels.

When asked on September 17 if he would take a wage for the hours worked as health minister the previous day, Mr Hamilton said: “No, I don’t expect to get paid for my work yesterday”.

However, the Assembly Commission confirmed to the Irish News yesterday that “ministers are being paid for the days they are in post.”

Ministers earn £38,000 a year on top of their basic Assembly salary, roughly £150 per day.

At the instruction of DUP leader Peter Robinson, three other DUP ministers have also resigned and been reappointed. Jonathan Bell at Enterprise, Mervyn Storey at the Department for Social Development and Michelle McIlveen at the Department for Regional Development.

Mr Robinson said it could not be ‘business as usual’ at the Assembly after the Provisional IRA was linked to the murder of Kevin McGuigan.

SDLP MLA Alban Maginness said payments should be stopped until the DUP becomes fully active in government once more.

"DUP ministers previously said they did not expect to be paid over this period.

"I think the public will be shocked to learn that they are receiving remuneration and they should come clean on the exact amount," he said.

 

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