A FORMER Northern Ireland Assembly Chief Executive has advised Secretary of State James Brokenshire to cut MLAs’ salaries.

The cut of £13,612 is one of 18 proposals by Trevor Reaney – who is urging Brokenshire to introduce the reduction in two stages.

The recommendations come after Brokenshire asked Reaney for his advice on MLA salaries and allowances almost a year after the Stormont Executive collapsed.

Mr Reaney has proposed cutting the MLAs’ salaries from £49,500 to £35,888, with an immediate cut of £7,425 followed by a further reduction of £6,187 in three months’ time.

If there is no return to devolved government by the end of March, Mr Reaney has proposed cutting MLAs' staff allowance from £50,000 to £37,500 which may result in job losses.

Mr Reaney has also put forward a reduction in staff costs, office establishment costs and upping the number of attendance days needed for a full travel allowance.

A spokesperson for the DUP said: "If there's no prospect of devolution returning then it's inevitable that this will need to be considered – it will be a matter for the Secretary of State."
A Sinn Féin statement said: "If the assembly is not re-established in the short term, then we are firmly of the view that the current arrangements, needed to be reviewed."

Mr Brokenshire said he would ‘carefully consider’ Mr Reaney’s advice before responding.