Friday, 4 December 2009

Get out clause

MLAs were reluctant to set their own pay increase…so let someone else do the job.

Within 24 hours of deciding not to debate a suggested £7,000 pay hike per MLA, the House of Lords was considering the Northern Ireland Assembly Members Bill, which would give the Assembly the option to pass off salary consideration to an independent body.

Smooth move! Should they appoint such an independent body, MLAs could then say that any pay hike was set by someone else…hands clean etc.

But, was it a coincidence that this week it emerged that some civil servants get paid more than Ministers sitting in the Northern Ireland Executive.

Howls of indignation were rather muted from MLAs. Perhaps this was because they realised that the civil servants were actually required to do some work…and they have to put up with Ministers. Surely that’s deserving of a good pay packet!

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