Less than a month after returning from a three-year hiatus MLAs across Northern Ireland are set to receive a £1,000 pay rise.
The BBC reports that all 90 members will get their hands on an annual salary of £50,500 – up from £49,500.
They were due to receive an increase over the last three years but due to the political stalemate and collapse of a working executive, the former NI Secretary of State Karen Bradley blocked the increase.
An Assembly spokesperson, speaking to the BBC, said: “Following the formation of an Executive on January 11th, the full provisions of the Assembly Members Salaries and Expenses Determination 2016 are in effect including the provisions for annual uprating.”
People Before Profit MLA Gerry Carroll said the increase would “come as a slap in the face to nurses who stood on freezing pickets for months for pay parity, and the civil service staff who are still taking industrial action to get what they deserve”.
Earlier this month, Newry and Armagh MLA – the new Finance Minister – said the proposed financial package from the British Government was “woefully inadequate”.
“The parties restored the Executive in good faith on the basis of the two governments’ New Decade, New Approach document. The British government undertook to provide the additional funding needed to deliver the ambitious commitments in the document.
“My officials are in the process of fully costing what is required but, against the request of the First Minister and deputy First Minister, the British Government has gone ahead and made this announcement.
“The financial package claims to provide £2bn.
“£1bn of this was already coming to the Executive.
“A further £240m was already promised as part of the Confidence and Supply agreement.
“The bottom line is with this proposed package, our public services face a shortfall of at least £1 billion next year alone.
“This will make it extremely difficult to fund public services.”
Mr Murphy added: “For the legacy institutions, the proposed package adds £100m to the £150m previously committed. This falls at least £50m short of the projected cost of £300-£400m
“The parties are working together to deliver quality public services for our people. This act of bad faith makes our job much more difficult.
“As Finance Minister I cannot and will not accept this and will be taking this up with the British Government.”
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