Councillors set for pay rise
Councillors in Northern Ireland are set for a £4,000-plus pay rise as part of plans to restructure local government, Stormont's Environment minister has announced.
The members elected to the 11 new super councils that are being formed from the 26 existing councils are being paid more to reflect their greater responsibilities, Mark H Durkan explained.
The basic allowance is rising to £14,200 per year from the current rate of £9,835.
Mr Durkan said he made the decision following recommendations made by an independent panel and stakeholder consultation.
"Under local government reform, councillors will face significant changes," he said.
"To fairly compensate councillors for their increased roles and responsibilities, and the larger electorates they will represent, a councillor's basic allowance will be set at £14,200 per annum," he said.
Mr Durkan said he was also increasing the value of caring allowances available to councillors to encourage those with such responsibilities to run for council.
"Travel and subsistence allowances will stay the same and decisions on special responsibility allowance payments for positions of responsibility, such as chairs and mayors, will remain at the discretion of the councils," he added.
Elections to the 11 new councils will take place on May 22.
At that stage they will operate in shadow form until taking over from the current councils on April 1 next year.