Pay Rise for MLAs Is under Consideration

Article excerpt

The current base salary for an MLA is around A[pounds sterling]43,000 which is A[pounds sterling]10,000 less than members of the Welsh assembly and A[pounds sterling]13,000 less than a Scottish assembly member.

The Assembly Commission report is due to be debated in the Assembly on Monday.

It recommends pay rises for ministers, and other office holders as well as MLAs, meaning more senior politicians would get a double rise as they collect their base MLA salary plus their special post holder pay.

The report is the commission's response to a recommendation by the Senior Salary Review body that MLAs' pay packets should be brought into line with their counterparts in Scotland and Wales.

It's understood the commission has deferred the rise until after the next election - and is also proposing that once this report is voted upon, an independent body be set up to make these decisions in future.

It's believed the First and Deputy First Ministers would receive an extra A[pounds sterling]8,000 each, with their salaries rising to A[pounds sterling]80,000 - on top of their basic Assembly pay - under the proposals.

Other ministers and office holders would also get rises and for the first time party whips would also be paid out of public funds for their role as "business managers" within the Assembly.

Some of the parties were publicly stating their opposition to pay rises for MLAs. …