1. ITV Report

Bradley rejects claims of ‘dithering’ over MLA pay

Secretary of State Karen Bradley appeared on View From Stormont. Photo: UTV

Secretary of State Karen Bradley has rejected claims she is dithering over MLA pay in the absence of a functioning Assembly.

In her statement to the House of Commons on Monday, she said she is “minded” to reduce politicians’ salaries by 27.5%.

Ms Bradley said she would consult the parties before making a final decision.

The secretary of state is now facing criticism for her lack of action, with some politicians saying they believe she should just get on with it.

Alliance Leader Naomi Long said: "The public's patience has been tested.

"They've had no institutions which they voted to see restored, they haven't had delivery in terms of the issues that really matter to them, and yet they see politicians, who have failed to deliver on those promises still getting their full salary."

SDLP MLA Nichola Mallon said: “We cannot understand why she's now wanting to engage in another round of consultation.

"She knows the SDLP's view on this, we think it's time instead of just talking about things, we seen some action."

It is now 14 months since the Executive collapsed.

The pay cut of 27.5%, which was recommended in the Reaney Review, would take the average MLA salary of £49,500 to £35,888 in two stages.

Karen Bradley told the House of Commons she would seek to introduce legislation that would hand her the power to vary MLA pay.

Speaking on View From Stormont on Monday night, she repeated that she wants to hear what politicans have to say.

“It's quite right also that I give people the opportunity to have their say on what they think should be done with MLA pay," Ms Bradley said.

"That is the right legal process, the right way to do this, but as I say it's been very clear to me, from people I have met in Northern Ireland, on their views on the matter."