Belfast Telegraph

Northern Ireland politicians campaigning for pay review

Councillors want
Councillors want "equality" with other elected representatives.

An association which represents the hundreds of Northern Ireland councillors is calling for a review of pay to represent increased work loads.

Northern Ireland has 462 councillors on its 11 local authorities with each paid £14,000 plus expenses and extras for holding certain positions.

That was increased for the review of public administration in 2014 when councils numbered 26 reflecting the additional work for councillors and the larger mandate they represented.

However, with the collapse of Stormont, councillors say they are considered the first port of call and as a result doing more work.

On Saturday The Irish News reports the Northern Ireland branch of the National Association of Councillors is calling for an "urgent review" of pay and benefits.

The association has complained of a "huge disparity between renumeration of councillors and MLAs, even though councillors work just as hard".

In documents seen by the Irish News, it calls for "equality" between councillors and other political representatives". It has lobbied civil servants and the main political parties for support.

MLAs are paid £42,075 - reduced from the £49,500 due to the collapse of the Stormont institutions. They face a further reduction to £35k from January 1.

MPs are paid £77,379.

UUP chair of the National Association of Councillors in Northern Ireland, Michael Henderson told the Irish News a review of councillor pay was needed as roles had "matured and developed". He said pay "should reflect the work you are doing".

"We are not saying we want more money," he told the paper.

"We are saying we want a review carried out and proper judgment... we are not asking for anything that has not been promised to us but everything has stalled because there is no Assembly."

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