MLA salaries may be price of failure….

It looks like one of the Governments’ coercive moves to get the political parties to concentrate on arriving at a political deal may be the removal of salaries of the members of the legislative assembly (or MLAs). Not exactly a Plan B, but an incentive to make Plan A work and perhaps a sign that there a few more benefits to be gained from the process.

  • David Vance

    Great idea – stop their salaries RIGHT NOW!

    When we’re at it, let’s stop a few more salaries.

    How about all those involved in the all-Ireland bodies, how about the Civic Forum, how about the utterly useless De Chastelain Commission, the Equality Commission – so many political pigs with their noses in the trough of public largesse. Better the tax payer keeps his/her money than waste it on pointless politicians and their courtiers.

  • smcgiff

    Sour grapes, DV?

  • Rebecca Black

    he does have a point though, maybe a little less money being doled out might inspire a bit more progress.

  • AndrewD

    Although MLA’s do not sit in a running Assembly and don’t receive the privilages that they would under a running Assembly in representing their constituents, they still do a job. They still have constituents contacting them for help.

    I agree that their salaries should be cut slightly, as they do not and cannot do their job in the way they should, but they still do a job.

    These representatives where elected by people and those who voted for them deserve to be represented. This cannot be fully done at Council level and Direct Rule Ministers do not act on behalf of the people of Northern Ireland.

    The people of Northern Ireland need Regional representation.

    Some may argue that paying these MLA’s is a complete and utter waste of Tax-Payers money, to an extent I can agree with this but I don’t think that their salaries should be cut completely.

    Representatives are restricted in doing their work with this uncertainty and unsecurity of their jobs.

    Some people are generally against any form of Government but restricting and cutting Government back to the days between 1972 to 1998 doesn’t portray a good example of Democracy. People have to be represented.

  • David Vance

    Sour grapes..more like claret and oysters!

    I enjoy the idea that “our” MLA’s are stil doing an important job even though the Assembly does not function. What pray, do they do, that an MP or Councillor does not already do? We all know the answer – deep down inside – don’t we? NOTHING.

    Suppose we wiped out not just their salaries and the exorbitant running costs of the fatcat Assembly – and instead gave the savings to pensioners or perhaps local hospices – is there anyone here would seriously argue that the latter represents a better deal for LOCAL people?

  • AndrewD

    David,

    Don’t entirely agree with you.

    You need representation. MLA representation is better than at Council level that is local, local.

    MLA representation forms part of a Regional representation.

    Yes, our hospitals and Elderly need better care, but do you really think that the Government, that is the Direct Rule Ministers would use these savings on where funding is needed.? They would prefer to pocket it. These areas already have LARGE budgets. I don’t think that throwing money at these services as it has been proved solves the problem. Health Services need to be ‘stream lined’.

    Many be you are bitter against local MLA Representation because you are totally opposed to Devolution never mind the Belfast Agreement.

    I feel that Devolution is right for the people.

    It has once been said that you cannot put a price on Democracy.

  • Alan

    There is a real need for individual MLA’s to be more up front about what they are doing, otherwise this kind of issue keeps coming up.

    David’s mantra *Close the Assembly – save the money* is populist, simplistic and myopic. If there was ever an example of why we need the assembly, it was seen at the NI Affairs Committee yesterday.

    The NIO were suggesting that they had heard no representations to include sectarian harrassment in our harrassment legislation As Michael Mates M.P. replied *Who are you asking?* He went on to suggest that if the police and other agencies ( who were being asked)had no responsibility to log sectarian incidents, how would they know to ask for legislative change?

    We need our MLA’s to fill that gap, we need local party structures that feed information up to locally elected Ministers. I’d suggest that paying maintenance for our at risk MLA’s is a price worth paying – while there is a chance of the assembly continuing. If – however – we are waiting while some parties play a waiting game until the next election, then we need to re-think that position. We’ll soon know how the land lies.

  • David Vance

    Why is it that if one criticises the fatcat MLA’s one is branded “bitter”? You know, it was a classic tecnique of Stalin to always question the MOTIVES of those who dared question his tyranny – seems defenders of the Belfast Agreement operate to a similar standard.

    Andrew says you cannot put a price on democracy but fails to appreciate the irony in this statement. An Assembly containing the IRA’s proxies is HARDLY the manifestation of democracy in action!

    Alan’s idea that offering simple and popular solutions is wrong(as opposed to unpopular and complicated!)is illogical.

    No one has been able to suggest ONE THING that MLA’s do that MPS’ and Councillors cannot do. I rest my case – sack them.

  • Caoimhín

    Well I think many in West Belfast find it easier to bring consticuency matters to Diane Dodds as supposed to Gerry Adams, so there’s one thing David, representing minorities

  • Pat Mc Larnon

    The problems faced by the constituents of the MLA’s did not end with the closing of the Assembly.
    When people voted at the Assembly elections they voted for the current deal. There is no point in failed politicians complaining simply because the electorate ensured there is no way they were getting their snouts into the trough.

  • smcgiff

    Stalin, DV?

    Well, if we could remain in the 21st century for a moment, I think the modern equivalent would be Putin’s Russia.

    He wants to do away with the democratically elected regional heads and insert his own men.

    Well, comrade Vance, it looks like you’ve a new advocate for direct rule.

  • Abi D

    test

  • Davros

    test

  • Davros

    eek test

  • David Vance

    Stalin…me? It’s a crazy world

  • Oilbhéar Chromaill

    test

  • Davros

    test

  • DessertSpoon

    What do MLAs do that Councillors and MPs don’t? Good question but hard to answer considering the majority of MLAs (Over 80%) are MPs and Councillors. Perhaps once the Assembly is back (eternal optimist here) the question of separation of duties should be looked at so that no one person can hold more than one political office. It must cause a conflict of interests.

    As for MLAs salaries I think another cut might focus the mind but as they being paid to be MPs, Councillors, MEPs, etc it won’t hit their pockets too hard but they may have to lay off staff and no politician wants to be responsbile for job cuts (Except Gordon Brown). In fact the Assembly is potentially one of Northern Irelands next redundancy stories. If it collapses over 200 people will be unemployed and you can be sure they won’t get a nice juicy settlement like the PSNI they will be lucky to statutory redundancy pay and their bus fare home.