Councillors to get £4k extra allowance

Councillors to get £4k extra allowance

Councillors in Northern Ireland will receive a £4,000-plus pay-rise as part of plans to structure local government, Environment Minister Mark H Durkan has announced.

The SDLP minister has finalised the remuneration and a scheme of allowances for councillors being elected in May.In a written statement to the assembly, Mr Durkan detailed the scheme which includes special responsibility and carers' allowances as well as a basic allowance, which is being increased from the current rate of £9,835 to £14,200.It was finalised following recommendations made by an independent panel and stakeholder consultation."Under local government reform, councillors will face significant changes," he said."To fairly compensate councillors for their increased roles and responsibilities, and the larger electorates they will represent, a councillors' basic allowance will be set at £14,200 per annum.""I am also doubling the value of caring allowances that can be claimed to encourage increased participation by those with caring responsibilities."Travel and subsistence allowances will stay the same and decisions on special responsibility allowance payments for positions of responsibility, such as Chairs and Mayors, will remain at the discretion of the councils."Elections to the 11 new councils will take place on 22 May 2014.At this stage they will operate in shadow form until taking over from the current councils on 1 April next year.

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