An Independent Review Panel was established in August 2008 by the then National Assembly Commission to look at all aspects of financial support available to Assembly Members; including pay and allowances for travel, accommodation, constituency offices and support staff. Following the independent review the Panel reported to the Commission in 2009. The then Assembly Commission accepted all 108 of the Panel’s recommendations, one of which was the establishment of a statutory Independent Review Body, which is independent of the Assembly. The subsequent Measure to establish a National Assembly for Wales Remuneration Board (the National Assembly for Wales (Remuneration) Measure 2010) received Royal Approval on 21 July 2010.
The Board’s functions are set out in section 3 of the National Assembly for Wales (Remuneration) Measure 2010, and relate to the making of a Determination on the remuneration of all Assembly Members and supplementary payments for those who hold additional responsibilities. In addition, the Board is required to decide the system of Assembly Members’ allowances and support staff. The Measure also sets out three objectives that the Board must seek to achieve when making its Determination. These are:
  • to provide Assembly Members with a level of remuneration that reflects fairly the complexity and importance of the functions which they are expected to discharge and which does not deter, on financial grounds, persons with the necessary commitment and ability from seeking election as Assembly Members;
  • to provide Assembly Members with adequate resources to enable them to exercise their functions as Assembly Members;
  • to ensure that public money is spent with probity, accountability, value for money and transparency.
The National Assembly for Wales (Remuneration) Measure 2010 states the Board must be formed of the Chair and four Board members. These individuals must have an array of skills, including:
  • experience of public life and a thorough understanding of the issues surrounding the public debate on standards in public life;
  • a thorough understanding of the work of democratically elected bodies and the devolved context;
  • an approach that is independent, fair minded, realistic and firm;
  • exceptional judgement in dealing with sensitive and high profile matters;
  • specific knowledge and experience of remuneration, pensions or related matters, particularly in relation to public sector pay and including experience of pay review bodies.
The current Board members are:
  • Dame Dawn Primarolo (Chair)
  • Ronnie Alexander (Board member)
  • Trevor Reaney (Board member)
  • Mike Redhouse (Board member)
  • Jane Roberts (Board member)
To find out more, why not read their full biographical details.
The Clerk to the Board ensures that all Board members are appointed through a fair and open process as outlined in Schedule 2 of the National Assembly for Wales (Remuneration) Measure 2010. Vacancies are advertised on the National Assembly for Wales’ website and signposted from other relevant sources. All appointments to the Board must be approved by the Assembly Commission and each Board member will hold the position for a fixed term of five years from the date of their respective appointments. Members can only sit on the Board for a maximum of two terms.
The Remuneration Board is responsible for determining financial support for Assembly Members and ensuring a transparent process which instils public confidence. This is a high profile, critical role that requires an individual with exceptional skills, experience and personal qualities. The term of the role is for five years. Board members will be paid for their work in line with the rates paid to other similar office holders advising the Assembly. The daily rates are £333 for the Board chair and £267 for Board members. The costs of the Board’s work is published as part of its annual report.
As outlined in the National Assembly for Wales (Remuneration) Measure 2010, the Board must consult with those who are likely to be affected by its decisions unless there are circumstances that make it inappropriate to do so. All the Board’s proposals are published to its website and the Board will consider all responses before agreeing the way forward. Details on how you can share your views with the Board are available on our contact page.

The Board operates independently from the Assembly Commission and political parties. However, to ensure the Board’s work is grounded in the realities of supporting an Assembly Member to undertake their role it has established two Representative Groups, an Assembly Member Representative Group and an Assembly Member support staff Representative Group.

Each political group represented in the Assembly is asked to nominate its representative to sit on the groups. In addition to support staff who share the views of their respective parties the Assembly Member support staff Representative Group also has trade union representatives which must represent the views of all members of that trade union regardless of their party.

The Representative Group have an advisory role in forming the Board’s forward work programme. They act as a sounding board for the Board’s emerging findings, and will help the Board to ensure its work culminates in workable recommendations. However, the Representative Groups also provide an opportunity for the political groups to feedback their views on the practicalities of the Determination to the Board.

The Board meets regularly with both Representative Groups. These meetings are held in private.

Details outlining how much Assembly Members and office holders currently get paid are noted in the below table:

Office holder salaries 2018-19 Base Salary 2018-19 Additional Salary 2018-19 total salary
First Minister £66,847 £79,381 £146,228
Welsh Minister £66,847 £37,601 £104,448
Counsel General[1] £66,847 £37,601 £104,448
Deputy Minister £66,847 £21,934 £88,781
Presiding Officer £66,847 £42,824 £109,671
Deputy Presiding Officer £66,847 £21,934 £88,781
Assembly Commissioners £66,847 £13,578 £80,425
Committee chairs (higher) £66,847 £13,578 £80,425
Committee chairs (lower) £66,847 £9,045 £75,892
Business Committee Member £66,847 £9,045 £75,892
Leader of a Political Group not in Government[2] £66,847 £13,578 + £1,044 per member up to £37,601 Range from

£83,557- £104,448

[1] Counsel General who is not an Assembly Member

[2] Political Group is defined in the Standing Orders of the Assembly

To receive these salaries Assembly Members must:

  • have taken the oath of allegiance or has made the affirmation required by law;
  • only be a Member of the National Assembly for Wales. Those who are also Members of Parliament or Members of the European Parliament will have their Assembly salary reduced, in accordance with section 21 of the Government of Wales Act 2006, by an amount equal to two thirds of the basic salary which that Member would otherwise be entitled to receive.

A Member who holds more than one of the offices specified in the above table is only entitled to receive an additional office-holder’s salary in respect of one of those offices, namely the highest paid of those offices.

Expenses claims will broadly fall under one of three main allowance types:

Office Costs Allowance (i.e. office expenses related to their duties as an Assembly Member)

Additional Costs Allowance (i.e. expenses incurred in staying overnight away from their main home for the purpose of performing their duties as an Assembly Member)

Travel Costs Allowance (i.e. travel expenses incurred by Assembly Members due to their Assembly duties)

Members also have access to a staffing expenditure allowance in order to pay the wages of their staff. The allowance currently totals £99,226 per Assembly Member and can only be used to cover the salary of three full-time equivalent staff.

The Determination sets out the financial support available to Assembly Members to allow them to undertake their role as Assembly Members. An overview of the Determination is available here.

The Board usually meets in Tŷ Hywel around five to six times a year, although this is subject to change depending on the Board’s work programme. The National Assembly for Wales (Remuneration) Measure 2010 permits the Board to meet in private if it deems necessary to do so. Given the nature of discussions most of the Board meetings are conducted in private. Following the meeting a summary of discussions is sent to Assembly Members and Assembly Member support staff and published to the Board’s webpage. A minute of each meeting is published a meeting in arrears.