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Sinn Féin will oppose pay increase for MLA’s – Ní Chuilín

25 November, 2009 - by Carál Ní Chuilín

Sinn Féin will not support any pay increase for Assembly members, the party's Assembly chief whip Carál Ní Chuilin has announced.

Ms Ní Chuilin was commenting on the Senior Salary Review Board's (SSRB) recommendation to increase the wages of MLAs, which will come before the Assembly next week as one part of a wider report.

Ms Ní Chuilin said:

"There are many recommendations in this report which Sinn Féin has welcomed, not least increased transparency in financial matters.

"However, this entire report is being brought forward for consideration by the Assembly with no opportunity to vote on each and every specific recommendation.

"To support this report in its entirety would therefore force us to support the recommended wage increase.

"Sinn Féin made our position clear from the beginning of the review that MLAs should not get a wage increase.

"That remains our position. Sinn Féin is the only political party which has consistently adopted this position.

"Sinn Féin welcomes the SSRB's endorsement of our party's proposal that MLAs should no longer be allowed to vote for their own pay hikes and that this decision-making function should be passed to an independent statutory body.

"Unfortunately the rules of the Assembly are such that we are not even permitted to support our own proposal within this report unless we also support an immediate wage increase for all MLAs. That is something we will not do - particularly in this time of social and economic hardship."

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