06/09/2018

MLA Salaries To Be Cut Amid Ongoing Stormont Deadlock

The Northern Ireland Secretary of State, Karen Bradley, has announced that she will "take the steps necessary to reduce Assembly members' salaries".

Former Assembly chief executive Trevor Reaney first recommended a pay cut in December 2017. Almost a year later, NI's MLAs will lose just around £7,000 from their yearly salary of £49,500, with a further £6,000 to be cut three months after that.

In a lengthy update on the ongoing situation in Northern Ireland, Secretary Bradley that NI "needs devolved Government … all the functioning political institutions of the Belfast Agreement and its successors."

However, her update also revealed that she still did not believe that it was necessary to hold an election.

She said: "In the absence of an Executive, I have kept my duty to set a date for a fresh election under review.
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"I have not believed and do not now believe that holding an election during this time of significant change and political uncertainty would be helpful or would increase the prospects of restoring the Executive."

While continuing to reject calls for an election, the Secretary said that she would introduce legislation "for a limited and prescribed period" that would remove the legal requirement to call an election.

She said: "In order to ensure certainty and clarity on this issue, I intend, therefore, to introduce primary legislation in October to provide for a limited and prescribed period in which there will be no legal requirement to set a date for a further election, and importantly, during which time an Executive may be formed at any point without the requirement for further legislation. This will provide a further opportunity to re-establish political dialogue with the aim of restoring the Executive as soon as possible."

(MH/CM)

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