Karen Bradley acts to cut MLA pay

Secretary of State Karen Bradley
Secretary of State Karen Bradley

NI Secretary Karen Bradley has today written to Stormont assembly members to confirm their pay will be reduced by an initial 15 per cent from November 1.

As she announced in the House of Commons earlier this month, the Secretary of State has accepted the recommendations made by Sir Trevor Reaney in December 2017 and will cut MLAs’ pay by 27.5% over the next few months, unless an Executive is formed in the meantime.

MLA pay will fall from £49,500 to £35,888. The initial cut in November will be followed by a further 12.5% reduction from January 1.

In a statement, Mrs Bradley said the “absolute priority” of the UK Government was to restore devolved government at the earliest opportunity.

She added: “I recognise that MLAs still carry out important work, but it can’t be right that they continue to receive their full salary until the Executive and the Assembly are restored.

“I am acting today in line with the powers voted for by Parliament to cut their pay until the Executive is restored. This will be followed by legislation to give clarity to the Northern Ireland Civil Service for the decisions they can make, and my focus on establishing talks between the parties.

“I am confident that the plan I set out in Parliament provides the right framework to work with the parties to restore an Executive so that important decisions for the people of Northern Ireland can be made by locally elected politicians.”

Travel allowances for MLAs have also been reduced, and inflationary pay rises cancelled while there is no Executive to determine otherwise.

Should an Executive be restored, under legislation passed in Westminster in July full salaries will be restored and the power to vary MLA salaries will return from the Secretary of State to a panel appointed by the Assembly.

The pay of staff working for MLAs will not be affected.