Cuts for us! Pay rises for MLAs!

Our local politicians have shown yet again that they care more about lining their own pockets than fighting for the working-class people they are meant to represent. They have just put through a package giving them an 11% pay rise – almost £5,000 a year ! – bringing their salary to £48,000. Chairs of committees will get £60,000, Ministers £86,000 and the First and Deputy First Ministers get £120,000! 

These are the same people who are telling us we can’t have a pay rise and we have to tighten our belts, whilst prices for basic food and fuel rockets upwards. Compare their pay to the average full time wage in the North which is £23 882 – if you can find a job!

The pay rise was decided by the so-called “Independent Financial Review Panel” which was appointed by – the MLAs!  You can imagine when they were picking who would be on the panel that they made sure to pick people who would value the politicians’ importance.  If only ordinary workers could appoint the people who decided their pay rates, things would be very different.

Some politicians have said they oppose the pay rise – but will they refuse to accept the new pay cheques? What do you think? SDLP leader Alasdair McDonnell says his party will oppose the 11% rise but only a few weeks ago he was crying that he wasn’t paid enough. What a hypocrite!

Compare this to the position of the Socialist Party – anyone elected as a Socialist Party representative is pledged to only accept the average wage of a skilled worker. All other money received will be donated to the Party or other working-class and progressive movements. We have members of parliament, councillors and an MEP in the South. Our sister organisation in England and Wales has councillors and formerly had 3 MPs. All have stood by this pledge with their accounts audited every year. It is vitally important that workers’ representatives live on the same wages as the people they represent We need 100 Socialist Party MLAs in Stormont who will see politics as a way to help the working class and not just to enrich themselves.


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