Assembly members set to get £1,000 pay rise

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Assembly members can now expect to see the extra money in their first pay packet since Stormont returned

MLAs at Stormont are set to get a £1,000 pay increase in their annual salary, the BBC has learned.

They were due to receive the extra money over the past three years, but the increase was blocked by the former NI Secretary of State Karen Bradley.

She was asked to withhold the money by the Assembly Commission because Stormont was in suspension.

In a letter, Speaker Robin Newton said such an increase would not have been “appropriate in the circumstances”.

But assembly members can now expect to see the extra money in their first pay packet since Stormont returned.

The hike will see their pay increase from £49,500 to £50,500.

Confirming the move, an Assembly spokesperson said: “Following the formation of an Executive on January 11th, the full provisions of the Assembly Members Salaries and Expenses Determination 2016 are in effect including the provisions for annual uprating.”

They added that the annual uprating provided in the legislation has been applied bringing the “salary payable as a member to £50,500”.

The move has been criticised by the People Before Profit MLA Gerry Carroll who said 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,” he added.

“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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