Martin McGuinness backs cut in Assembly Members
The DUP and Sinn Fein could cut a deal to downsize the Assembly and cut the current number of government departments.
Peter Robinson's party has long been in favour of reducing the total number of MLAs and halving the present 13 departments to six or seven.
But yesterday Martin McGuinness revealed he was also in favour of squeezing Assembly Members by a sixth – which would see the 108 existing MLAs whittled down to 90.
Mr McGuinness said: "I'm very much in favour of a reduction in the number of Assembly Members from six per constituency to five. I'm very much in favour of a reduction in the number of government departments.
"I say that because I think if pain has been inflicted on our people as a result of the budgetary measures taken by the British government in London – a government made up of multi-millionaires – then I think that the political process politicians have to accept part of the pain of them."