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11 Northern Ireland MPs handed pay rise to £82,000

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MPs in the House of Commons (PA)

MPs in the House of Commons (PA)

MPs in the House of Commons (PA)

Northern Ireland's MPs have been handed a 3.1% pay rise bringing their basic annual salary to £81,932.

The pay rise for all MPs was announced by the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority (IPSA) on Thursday and will begin in April.

Only 11 of Northern Ireland's 18 MPs will actually receive the pay increase.

Sinn Fein's seven MPs do not receive a salary as a result of not taking their seat at Westminster due to the party's policy of abstentionism.

However Sinn Fein MPs do receive money for expenses and the party receives the public money given to all parties for party business.

Westminster's eight DUP MPs, SDLP MPs Colum Eastwood and Claire Hanna and Alliance Party MP Stephen Farry will all receive the increase.

IPSA said the annual adjustment to MPs pay for 2020-21 was in line with its decision in 2015 to adjust the salary at the same rate as changes in public sector earnings published by the Office of National Statistics.

Richard Lloyd, IPSA interim chairman, said: "Our review of MPs' staffing budgets in 2019 found demands on MPs' offices were high, with staff doing difficult and stressful casework with constituents on a very wide range of problems.

"There was often high staff turnover, with salary levels below comparable roles elsewhere, based on independent benchmarked evidence. In many MPs' offices, relatively little time or money was spent on staff training, well-being and development.

"As a result, we have provided additional funding in MPs' 2020-21 staffing budgets for staff training and welfare, security, and changes to the salary bands and job descriptions for MPs' staff to bring them into line with the jobs they actually do.

"This action demonstrates IPSA's ongoing commitment to supporting MPs and their staff to serve their constituents, and we will review this over the next year, in line with our assurance work."

Belfast Telegraph