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Cutting MLAs could save more than orchestra

A RECENT reader's letter (Write Back, December 22) suggests "slashing MLAs - not musicians". A bit extreme. Perhaps just a few strokes of the birch would suffice? But the idea is sound both statistically and financially.

Let's do a little compare and contrast. Westminster has 650 MPs for a UK population of a bit in excess of 64,000,000. A ratio of 1 to just over 95,000.

Stormont has 108 MLAs for a population of 1,800,000, or 1 to about 17,500. To be consistent, the number of MLAs required would be about 19 or 20.

Total annual cost of MLAs' salaries and expenses is an average of about £81,000. Cull back to the indicated level and you save about £6,800,000 - enough not just to keep the Ulster Orchestra, but to buy new strings for their fiddles.

An added potential benefit is that 80-odd people will now be available to get a real job and contribute to our economy, instead of being a drain on it.

DISSENTER

Carrickfergus, Co Antrim

Belfast Telegraph

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