NI secretary urged to slash politicians' pay after talks failure

Stormont politicians should have their pay slashed after another failed round of powersharing negotiations, the Green Party's Northern leader has said.

Steven Agnew said it was unreasonable for MLAs to continue to receive their £49,500 annual salary despite Stormont not sitting since January.

He said it was now time for Northern Ireland Secretary James Brokenshire "to start considering different approaches if he is serious about breaking the impasse".

Mr Agnew added: "It is insanity to continue repeating the same restricted talks process over and over again and to expect a different outcome.

"It is not unreasonable that after such a prolonged stalemate, the Secretary of State should move to reconsider MLAs' pay. If an MLA is performing two thirds of a job, they should be paid two thirds of the wage."

Mr Brokenshire has confirmed that the DUP and Sinn Fein failed to reach an agreement in time for the latest deadline of 30 October.

He said that he is now consulting independent advice on whether he can curb Northern Ireland politicians' salaries by passing a Bill at Westminster in order to "reflect the current circumstances in MLA pay".

Despite the fact that the Executive collapsed in January, MLAs have continued to receive their salaries throughout the negotiations deadlock.

In April, they received a pay increase from £49,000 to £49,500 per year.

Mr Brokenshire has previously said the matter would require separate legislation passed at Westminster as he does not currently have powers to alter MLAs' pay.

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