Looking at the number of candidates for each post, I don’t think that Northern Ireland’s MLAs are too hard done by. The fact that their salaries haven’t increased in ten years clearly isn’t stopping people queuing to job the assembly.
So, among their many downsides ( there being too many of them, the tribalism, the comedy inept behavior of many), the fact that they cost less than most parliamentarians was a benefit.
Seems like that single plus point will soon go. How disappointingly predictable.