Northern Ireland

Multi-job councillors face allowance cuts: Attwood

Environment Minister Alex Attwood
Image caption Alex Attwood said there was an issue about multiple-mandate councillors

Councillors who are also MPs, MLAs or members of the House of Lords may have their allowances cut by two-thirds, the environment minister has said.

Alex Attwood has launched a consultation on whether the allowances should be reduced.

At present a councillor's basic allowance is £9,738.

If they are also an MP or MLA or member of the House of Lords, this could reduce to £3,246.

The consultation period closes on 16 December.

Some councillors also receive a special responsibility allowance with the amount set by each council.

'Reasonable allowances'

It is proposed that payments of this allowance should also be subject to a two-thirds reduction for any councillor who is also an MP or MLA or member of the House of Lords.

Mr Attwood said: "I believe that elected representatives, whether in councils, the assembly or at Westminster, should receive reasonable allowances for performing their civic duty.

"However, there is still an issue about councillors who hold multiple mandates receiving their full council, assembly or even Westminster entitlements.

"In my opinion this needs to be adjusted. I believe it is also the opinion of the majority of taxpayers.

"That is why I am consulting on reducing the allowances of people in this position by two-thirds while still recognising the valuable role played by our elected representatives."