Thirteen judges earn more than PM

AT least thirteen members of the judiciary in Northern Ireland are earning more than the prime minister, it has been confirmed.

The news comes after David Cameron this week published the names, titles and salaries of the top earning 172 civil servants across the UK.

Mr Cameron earns 142,000 a year and yesterday the News Letter listed seven public sector chiefs in Northern Ireland who earn more than him.

Today the News Letter lists the pay of every member of the Northern Ireland judiciary, all of whom earn over 100,000 ( see table for full details).

Lord Justice Morgan is paid 214,165 while Lord Justice Girvan, Lord Justice Higgins and Lord Justice Coghlin are paid 196,707 each. The nine High Court Judges here are also paid 172,753 each.

Sixteen county court judges earn 138,548 while the recorder of Belfast earns 149,631. A raft of other figures including coroners and magistrates ( called district judges) earn 102,921.

A spokeswoman for the Lord Chief Justice said salaries of the judges are determined by the Lord Chancellor, with the consent of the Treasury, based upon the recommendations of the senior salaries review body. The salaries of the tribunal judiciary are also based upon the recommendations of the SSRB but are determined by their sponsoring NI departments, she added.

Lord Morrow, who is chairman of the new department of justice committee, said: "I am very mindful of the independence of our judiciary and that independence must be protected however, since the devolution of policing and justice we should be examining the cost of our entire legal system."

The DUP Fermanagh and South Tyrone MLA added: " The salaries of our judiciary are set by the senior salaries review board and are comparable to the rest of the United Kingdom. " It is notable that the head of our judiciary is paid the same as Scotland but less than England and Wales."

Lord Morrow said that he and his party were committed to ensuring that taxpayers receive value for money in all aspects of the justice system.

* In yesterday's News Letter, we erroneously quoted the salary scale of Belfast City Council's chief executive Peter McNaney to be 130,000-140,000. The actual scale should be 104,496 TO 122,802.

TOP JUDICIAL SALARIES

Lord Chief Justice: 214,165

Lord Justice Morgan

Lord Justice of Appeal: 196,707

Lord Justice Girvan; Lord Justice Higgins; Lord Justice Coghlin

High Court Judges: 172,753

Mr Justice Gillen; Mr Justice McLaughlin; Mr Justice Weatherup; Mr Justice Weir; Mr Justice Deeny; Mr Justice Hart; Mr Justice Stephens; Mr Justice Treacy; Mr Justice McCloskey

County Court Presiding Judge: 149,631

Judge Burgess, Recorder of Belfast

County Court Judges: 138,548

Judges Smyth QC; Gibson QC; Rodgers; Lockie; Philpott QC; McFarland; Kennedy; Finnegan QC; Marrinan; Babington; Loughran; Lynch QC; McReynolds; Grant; Miller QC; Smyth.

Chief social security and child support commissioner: 138,548

Judge Martin

Social security and child support commissioner: 128,296

Dr K Mullan

President, Appeals Tribunal: 128,296

Mr C MacLynn

Lands Tribunal Member: 120,785

Mr M Curry

Senior Coroner: 113,213

Mr J Leckey

Magistrates Courts Presiding Judge: 111,155

Judge Bagnall

High Court Masters: 102,921

Masters Ellison; Redpath; McCorry; Kelly; Wells; Bell; Bailie

District Judges: 102,921

Judges Keegan; Wells; Brownlie; Collins

Magistrates Courts District Judges: 102,921

Judges Perry; Alcorn; Copeland; Nixon; McKibbin; Kelly; Magill; McElholm; Watters; Conner; Hamill; Bates; White; Meehan; Wilson; McNally; Henderson; King; Judges McCourt and Prytherch are part-time pro rata.

Legal member of Appeals Tribunal: 102,921

Ms E Fitzpatrick

Coroners: 102,921

Ms S Anderson; Mr B Sherrard; Ms J Donnelly