Redeployed staff have cost Assembly more than £150,000

Jim Allister said there was no justification in subsidising other  jurisdictions
Jim Allister said there was no justification in subsidising other jurisdictions

The NI Assembly has spent more than £150,000 over the past five months on staff who have been redeployed to other jurisdictions, including Dublin.

With no sign of the political impasse at Stormont abating any time soon, some civil servants have been seconded to other legislatures, including the House of Commons, House of Lords and the Scottish Parliament.

Some staff have also been deployed to work in the Houses of the Oireachtas in the Republic of Ireland.

The Assembly Commission confirmed 11 full-time equivalent (FTE) staff are now working for bodies located outside the jurisdiction of Northern Ireland, although the majority of the work is carried out in Parliament Buildings.

The breakdown of these salaries is as follows:

• House of Commons: £70,864 (4.2 FTE staff);

• Scottish Parliament: £57,572 (4.6 FTE staff);

• House of Lords: £14,542 (1.4 FTS staff);

• Houses of the Oireachtas: £15,026 (0.8 FTE staff).

The commission confirmed that the process became “fully effective” in October 2017.

TUV leader Jim Allister, who received the information through a written question to the Assembly, said: “I see no justification in these austere times why the Northern Ireland taxpayer is subsidising Dublin or anywhere else.

“With our hospitals and schools going short the Assembly Commission should be returning to the centre any spare cash for redistribution, not showing largesse to other institutions elsewhere.

“People are entitled to ask why the salaries of redeployed staff continue to be paid from the Northern Ireland block grant,” the North Antrim MLA added.