Published on Wednesday 11 April 2012 17:01
ASSEMBLY members have been questioned on their position over last month’s independent review which saw them awarded a pay rise of almost £5000.
Members of local community groups used last Friday’s Assembly conference in Carrick Town Hall to raise the issue through chair Eamonn Mallie.
With panellists Roy Beggs, Oliver McMullan and David Hilditch all East Antrim Assembly members, Mr Mallie queried why they had allowed themselves a pay rise at two and a half times the rate of inflation.
“The independent review took the matter of a salary increase out of MLAs’ hands,” Mr Hilditch said. “However, there is no need for 108 Assembly members so in this case it would be appropriate to look at reducing that.”
Fellow east Antrim MLA Roy Beggs indicated that the increase in salaries would be utilised to fund constituency services. “Some of the extra money I have been awarded as an MLA will go towards the office costs allowance which has been cut,” he said.
Meanwhile, Sinn Fein MLA Oliver McMullan confirmed that the party had a “clear stance” in rejecting the pay rise offered in last month’s review.
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