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 Andrew MacKinlay Andrew MacKinlay Labour, Thurrock 2:54 pm, 11th March 2010

I preface my remarks by saying genuinely that I mean no disrespect to any hon. Members from Northern Ireland or those who represent Scottish constituencies. The question of allowances, however, seems perverse. In the House of Commons, the same office cost allowance applies irrespective of whether a Member represents Scotland, England or Northern Ireland. Yet health, housing, transport and education are dealt with by the MLAs. How can it be right for a Member representing England to receive exactly the same office cost allowances as his colleague from Scotland, Wales or Northern Ireland, while an MP who is also an MLA is given additional resources to do the same kind of work? Either English Members of Parliament are not being given enough resources, or those who represent Scottish, Welsh and Irish constituencies are being given too much.