18 months without Stormont: NI Secretary should call time now on charade of full MLA pay 

 

MLA pay has cost the taxpayer more than £9m since Stormont was suspended 18 months ago. Secretary of State Bradley must act now to call time on the charade of full MLA pay.

Six months ago, the Government received advice that full MLA pay should be cut. Four months ago, Parliament gave NI Secretary – Karen Bradley authority to cut MLA pay immediately.  Despite constant assurances, no action has been taken.

Commenting on this, UKIP Spokesman for Northern Ireland, Robert Hill said:

“For eighteen months, the people of Northern Ireland have had no fully functioning Assembly and executive, yet MLAs are still getting full-time pay for a job they are only partly doing. To date, this has cost the taxpayer over nine million pounds. Where else would this be acceptable?

“Many people across Northern Ireland are scraping by on lower incomes by working full time hours and in many cases – in temporary jobs with no long-term security.

“It is therefore another warped Stormont situation where we’ve had no functioning Assembly or Executive – yet ninety MLAs are still paid handsome full-time salaries and expenses; for the privilege of not carrying out the most basic function(s) of their job.

“Would an electrician, builder or mechanic get full pay if they downed tools for eighteen months?

“The answer is no. Yet it would appear that there’s a different rule for taxpayer funded MLAs who have spent just 46 minutes inside the Chamber they were elected to in those eighteen months. It’s unjustifiable for this practice to continue.”

Mr. Hill added:         

“We’re again calling on the Secretary of State to bring an end to her campaign of dithering and to take action by ending this charade of full MLA pay.”

“However, we believe that Her Majesty’s Government should go further and call time on this antiquated,  flawed and  expensive model of legislative devolution which has long since run its course. It’s time to look towards other models for the future Governance of Northern Ireland. Over the coming weeks, UKIP will be outlining our thoughts on this.”

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