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Media caption‘These sums are unacceptable’
It is “unacceptable” that almost £15m has been paid to MLAs in salaries since the collapse of Stormont, the Northern Ireland secretary has said.
Julian Smith pledged to review the wages if he “feels things are not going in the right direction”.
He was responding to concerns from North Down MP Lady Hermon during his first appearance before the Northern Ireland Affairs Committee.
It was confirmed that £14.9m has been spent on MLAs’ pay since January 2017.
- Salaries for MLAs are ‘abominable’
- MLAs’ pay cut and could fall further
Lady Hermon said it was “unsustainable and indefensible” that MLAs were to get their full salaries while “schools and hospitals are under so much pressure”.
She singled out the Northern Ireland Assembly speaker, who she said earns £55,850 a year in spite of only attending one sitting in the chamber lasting less than an hour.
Northern Ireland has been without a functioning executive since January 2017
In response, Mr Smith said: “These sums of money for an institution not doi