Northern Ireland

Assembly members expenses to be cut by up to £3,000

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Media captionPanel Chair Pat McCartan said the changes will restore some degree of confidence

Assembly members' expenses are to be cut by up to £3,000 each.

The independent financial review panel has said it made the decision in light of the reduction to the assembly budget.

The panel has also decided that MLAs should make some disclosures before accessing office cost expenses.

Assembly members will have to declare the names of people receiving the money if they are relatives.

MLAs will also have to disclose whether the recipient is a political party, or an "association" that aims to advance political opinions, culture or religion.

The independent financial review panel is working on a review of MLAs expenses, which will be completed in June.

The panel chair Pat McCartan said: "We are currently working on a comprehensive review of all aspects of members' expenses for the next mandate, but given the ongoing debate, we felt it was now time to increase transparency on contractual arrangements and on where and how public money is being spent by MLAs."

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