Assembly exes slashed after Belfast Telegraph campaign

The Belfast Telegraph has forced the Northern Ireland Assembly to slash its members' "sky high" car mileage allowances following a long-running campaign.

Taxpayers could end up £3,500 a week better off following the paper's Fair Dues campaign which exposed that the 108 Members of the Legislative Assembly have the highest allowances for UK public representatives.

Secretary of State Peter Hain told members he would be cutting their allowances by almost a third. Their 56.1p per mile is immediately being cut to 40p, which is the standard amount recommended by the Inland Revenue.

Last year, Assembly members took home a total of £617,878 in mileage payments.

Editor Martin Lindsay said: "We're delighted that taxpayers will save £3,500 a week because of our campaign.

The fact that our MLAs could claim 16.1p per mile more than any other politicians across the UK sent the wrong message to the public, not least because the assembly was not working.

"The Telegraph will continue to be the watchdog for taxpayers in Northern Ireland. I hope that when and if power is returned to MLAs, they will vote to keep the limit at 40p."

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