29/09/2009

MLAs' Expenses Revealed

Nearly £8m was claimed in expenses by Northern Ireland's 108 MLAs during the last financial year.

More than £2.5m has already been claimed since April 2009, it was also revealed.

According to figures released yesterday, SDLP MLA Pat Ramsey was the highest claimant at Stormont between 2008/09.

His expenses topped £95,000, although £11,000 of this was related to disability allowance following a hip replacement.

The lowest claimant, Gregory Campbell, had expenses of £37,000.

David Simpson, and Peter and Iris Robinson were also among those making the smallest claims.
News Image
MPs generally had lesser outgoings due to the Westminster allowances provided to run their offices.

DUP Minister Arlene Foster, UUP Deputy Leader Danny Kennedy, Sinn Fein's Raymond McCartney and Tom Elliott of the UUP had the most significant Stormont claims.

Between April and July this year SDLP Minister Margaret Richie has claimed £39,000, making her the highest claimant so far.

A spokesperson for the South Down MLA said she had incurred "exceptional" costs after a member of staff fell ill.

A new employee was hired to cover the work, while sick pay was simultaneously being paid out.

MLAs travelling from rural constituencies, close to the border, continue to be the biggest claimants.

(PR/BMcC)

Related Northern Ireland News Stories
Click here for the latest headlines.

11 September 2019
Council Reminds Students Of Home Safety Measures
Students heading to Belfast to settle in for the new academic year are urged to put safety first when it comes to choosing their accommodation. Belfast City Council issued the timely reminder to highlight the importance of making home safety a priority to ensure their student experience is as safe and enjoyable as possible.
10 September 2019
NI Defeated By Germany In Belfast
Northern Ireland's hopes of qualifying for Euro 2020 suffered a major setback on Monday evening as they were defeated 2-0 by Germany. The tense qualifier at Windsor Park brought plenty of chances for Michael O'Neill's side in the first half, with Conor Washington almost making it past Germany's keeper Manuel Neuer on two occasions.
12 September 2019
SDLP Brands Bridge To Scotland A 'Pathetic Distraction'
Renewed rhetoric about building a bridge linking Northern Ireland to Scotland has been slammed as a "pathetic distraction" tactic by the SDLP. Reports surfaced just this week that the UK Government is considering the project, with Prime Minister Boris Johnson requesting information on the possible costs and risks, according to Channel 4 News.
18 September 2019
Trio Jailed Over £1m Drug Bust
Three Co Down men have been jailed following the seizure of cannabis worth £1 million last year. James McAleese, aged 43, Kevin McPolin, aged 33 and Niall Mallon, 39, were convicted at Newry Crown Court on Wednesday after pleading guilty to fraudulently importing and possession of a Class B drug with intent to supply.
10 September 2019
Images Released Of New IRA Bomb In L'Derry
Images of the bomb left in a residential street in L'Derry in an attempt to murder police officers have been released by police. The improvised explosive device can be seen in a parked car in close proximity to houses and a pavement. Police said the bomb would have killed or maimed anyone nearby had it detonated.