Northern Ireland news

£1,000 pay rise for MLAs after Stormont restored

The assembly chamber at Parliament Buildings, Stormont
Brendan Hughes

STORMONT MLAs are receiving a £1,000 increase in their annual wages following the restoration of power-sharing.

The standard salary of an assembly member is now £50,500 per year – an increase on the £49,500 they received at the time of Stormont's collapse.

The uplift comes from annual inflationary increases which had not been applied during the three years without devolved government.

MLA wages had previously been cut by the British government in two stages to £35,888 due to the prolonged absence of the executive and assembly.

Cuts to the wages of the assembly speaker, deputy speakers and Assembly Commission members have also been reversed following the return to devolution.

The Speaker will earn £88,500 a year and the three deputy speakers £56,500.

Members of the Assembly Commission – which is responsible for ensuring the assembly has the staff and facilities needed to carry out its work – will also receive £56,500.

MLAs who chair statutory committees or the public accounts committee will earn £62,500 a year.

The first and deputy first minister will receive £122,500 annually, while other departmental ministers receive £88,500 and junior ministers get £56,500.

An assembly spokeswoman said: "Following the formation of an executive on January 11 2020, the full provisions of the Assembly Members (Salaries and Expenses) Determination (Northern Ireland) 2016 are in effect, including the provisions for an annual uprating.

"From that date, the amounts set out in Table 1 of paragraph 1 of the 2016 determination are in place and the annual uprating, provided for in paragraph three, has been applied.

"The current annual salary payable as a member is £50,500."

People Before Profit MLA Gerry Carroll criticised the pay rise, saying it would come "as a slap in the face to nurses who stood on freezing pickets for months for pay parity, and the civil service staff who are still taking industrial action to get what they deserve".

"People Before Profit have always advocated for MLAs to be paid an average worker's wage - it's what I take home. How can MLAs receive a salary that is around double the average wage and claim to competently represent their constituents' interests when their financial realities are so different?"

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