Northern Ireland Assembly Members Bill [ Lords]

Part of Consolidated Fund (Appropriation) Bill – in the House of Commons at 2:54 pm on 11th March 2010.

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Photo of Paul Goggins Paul Goggins Minister of State, Northern Ireland Office 2:54 pm, 11th March 2010

I do not know whether the hon. Gentleman had an advance copy of my speech, but I was at that very moment about to come to the question of dual mandates. When the Bill was first published, it dealt simply with whether the Assembly should set allowances and salaries or whether they should be delegated to an independent body. Certain amendments, however, including a Government amendment, were considered in the House of Lords, suggesting that the salary of the Assembly Members should reduce to zero, if they received a salary as a Member of Parliament or indeed as a Member of the European Parliament.

If I understood the hon. Member for Stone correctly, he argues that if someone is carrying out a dual mandate, they should receive a salary for carrying out both functions. The Government's view-I think that this was also the consensus view in the House of Lords-is that they should not receive the salary for the second job, but should continue to receive the allowances for both functions, because their constituents should not suffer from any loss of service. The consensus view in the other place-and I hope and expect in this place, too-is that when someone claims a salary as a Member of Parliament, they should receive no salary for being a Member of the Legislative Assembly.