MLAs get 11% pay rise

If you were to go on the streets of any town or city in Northern Ireland and ask people if they think politicians should get a pay rise, I don't think you will find many who would agree. Yet this is what is about to happen.

Currently, MLAs receive a basic salary of £43,101. Those who are committee chairs get an extra £11,331, whilst their deputies receive an extra £5,667. Junior ministers get £19,609 on top of their basic salary; ministers an extra £37,801. The first and deputy first minsters are entitled to £114,535 each. 

The Independent Financial Review Panel (IFRP) has decided that MLAs should receive an increase in basic salary of 11%. This means pay will increase to £48,000. The rises are going to paid for out of cuts in office costs, however if the IFRP feels MLAs' offices are overstaffed, this is hardly a justification for such large pay rises.

Many MLAs have said they should not receive a pay rise, and accept they should be setting an example. If they have any sense, will refuse the extra cash on offer. Time will tell how many do the right thing.

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