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Karen Bradley confirms £13k cut to MLAs' salaries

By Allan Preston

The Secretary of State has confirmed a pay cut for all 90 of our MLAs.

Earlier this month Karen Bradley informed the House of Commons that the cuts could be made in line with a report in December 2017, amid growing public pressure on salaries.

She has told MLAs her intention is to reduce their pay by 27.5% in two stages, equating to a £13,000 reduction.

She has sent a letter to each MLA confirming that the first cut of 15% (or £7,500) will come into effect on November 1, with the remainder to follow on New Year's Day.

Ms Bradley avoided a complete halt to MLA pay, recognising that they were still active in constituency work.

"My absolute priority, and the priority of the UK Government, is to restore devolved government at the earliest opportunity," she said.

"I recognise that MLAs still carry out important work, but it can't be right that they continue to receive their full salary until the Executive and the Assembly are restored."

Travel allowances will also be reduced, as MLAs no longer need to travel as often to Parliament Buildings.

Allowances for MLA staff have not been reduced, but there will be "appropriate reductions" in additional salaries paid to office holders in the Assembly.

No pay increases for inflation will be issued until Stormont reconvenes.

"I know that some members have raised with me concerns about the impact on pensions, and I want to make clear that the determination makes provision to ensure these are not affected by the reductions," she said.

"As I said in my statement to the House of Commons on September 6, Northern Ireland needs a devolved government in place with all the functioning political institutions of the Belfast Agreement and its successors.

"I believe that the people of Northern Ireland want to see a restoration of their political institutions and that is what this Government is committed to achieving."

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