Following a long-delayed reply to a FOI request, the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority (IPSA) has issued this list (PDF) of Northern Ireland’s MPs, their numbers of staff, their salary ranges, and total payments/cost since the election (inc. employers’ national insurance, pension contributions, maternity payments etc). Some of the totals will be lower if the appointments were not made immediately in May.
Several points I found noteworthy:
- The highest cost has been incurred by Jim Shannon (a total of 98,978 pounds for a total of 6 staff), followed by Jeffrey Donaldson (94282 for 4 staff), Lady Hermon (93214 for 3 staff) and Dr McDonnell (93,088 for 5 staff)
- The lowest cost by a long way, according to the figures supplied by the IPSA, is that incurred by Naomi Long (49582 for 4 staff)- however, the more eagle-eyed amongst you will also have noticed a definite mathematical non-match there! Anyway, she is followed by Gregory Campbell (60,573 for 5 staff) and surprisingly enough (well, it was a surprise for me!) Ian Paisley Jr (64,367 for 4 staff)
- The absentee Sinn Fein MPs cleared respectively: Gildernew 77,448, Doherty 76,233, McGuinness 79,666 and Murphy 80,034. No mention of Gerry Adams.
- A total of 9 staff apparently earn more than 30,000 including (again, perhaps surprisingly) three Sinn Fein workers.
My own interest was mainly with the data of those who are the potential double-jobbers post 5thof May and how it tied in with the “support-staff” salaries paid out by the relevant Stormont MLAs.
So, for the period April 2010-December 2010:
Gregory Campbell paid out 16,848 pounds for “support staff salaries”
Pat Doherty: 29,222
Michelle Gildernew: 29,222
Dr McDonnell: 49,654
Martin McGuinness: 29,522
Conor Murphy: 15,515
Margaret Ritchie: 42,760
Sammy Wilson: 24061
McDonnell’s and Ritchie’s figures are pretty striking there and I wonder is there any reason why they are so comparatively high?
But the more important question is surely whether any overlap occurs in terms of the work performed by the Westminster and Stormont staff on behalf of the double-jobbers?
If so, then shouldn’t we also be looking to reduce correspondingly those staffing allowances?