Belfast Telegraph

Friday 22 August 2014

Dawn Purvis seeks ban on double jobbing ‘when voters cannot even find one’

Dawn Purvis

The continued practice of double jobbing in Northern Ireland politics cannot be justified in the face of soaring unemployment in the region, the Assembly has been warned.

Outlawing dual mandates for good would send a strong message to society that MLAs were aware of the problems many ordinary people had finding one job, never mind two, according to MLA Dawn Purvis.

The independent member urged her Assembly colleagues to support a private member's bill she has tabled calling for a ban.

“I find it difficult to understand how any political party can justify the continued existence of multiple mandates in any form in the current economic environment,” she said.

“What kind of leadership are we offering the growing numbers of unemployed members of our society who want just one paid position when some of us insist on protecting our rights to multiple levels of remuneration from the public purse?”

A number of local politicians continue to represent their constituencies in two forums.

The main parties have signalled their intent to phase out the practice, but there is no law requiring them to do so.

Mrs Purvis's proposed legislation would disqualify councillors who are also MLAs from retaining their council seats once they have signed the Assembly's roll of membership.

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