Belfast Telegraph

Saturday 23 August 2014

Assembly members attacked over hotel claims

Assembly members have come under attack after it emerged they are to be put up in hotels to complete a heavy legislative programme.

Despite the deepest Budget cutbacks in memory, and the ongoing recession, MLAs will be able to claim up to £130 a night, officials have confirmed.

And even if they live within 20 to 30 miles of Stormont, they are still entitled to claim. “There is no criteria involving distance,” a spokeswoman added.

So even if only half the 108 members opt for hotels and claim just half of the maximum, the cost to the public purse would be more than £3,500 a night.

Jim Allister of the Traditional Unionist Voice party said the public would be “appalled” at MLAs being “cosseted”.

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