The Remuneration Board is responsible for setting the pay, pensions and allowances of Assembly Members and Assembly Members support staff.
The rules surrounding what they are entitled to claim for are contained within the Determination. The chapters of the Determination are summarised below:
Chapter 1 – The Principles of financial support: Financial support and remuneration for Members should support the strategic purpose of the Assembly and facilitate the work of its Members; decisions must be appropriate within the context of Welsh earnings and the wider financial circumstances of Wales; and the system of financial support for Members must be robust, clear, transparent, sustainable and represent value for money for the taxpayer.
Chapter 2 – Rules for submission of claims: Rules aiming to support the principles underpinning the reimbursement of expenses.
Chapter 3 – Members’ Remuneration: This includes the salary which all Assembly Members and Office Holders within the Assembly and Welsh Government are entitled to receive and details of their pension scheme.
Chapter 4 – Residential Accommodation Expenditure: The amount Assembly Members can be reimbursed for staying overnight away from their main homes in connection to their role as Assembly Member. This is subject to their main home being in the inner, intermediate or outer area.
Chapter 5 – Members’ travel: Deals with types of travel on Assembly Business by Members. Also includes travel undertaken by Members’ partners, children and staff.
Chapter 6 – Office costs: Allowance to reimburse Members all reasonable costs relating to the running of their office and engaging with constituents.
Chapter 7 – Support for Assembly Members: Staffing expenditure costs to enable the performance of the Member’s duties as an Assembly Member.
Chapter 8 – Support for Political Parties: Assist parties and individual Assembly Members in discharging their work in the Assembly.
Chapter 9 – Members leaving office: Assists those who are no longer Assembly Members to complete any work that was in progress at the time they ceased to be a Member.
Any changes to the Determination must be subject to a consultation with those likely to be affected by its decision.
Annual review of the Determination
The Board regularly considers if any changes to the Determination are needed in advance of the next financial year to ensure the remuneration package is sufficient. Following the Board’s meeting in January 2019 it consulted on following for the 2019-20 Determination:
- to increase the Residential Accommodation Expenditure allowance for outer area Members by 2.4 per cent in line with the CPI rate for September 2018.
- to increase the Residential Accommodation Expenditure allowance for intermediate area Member to £6,840 per annum and to extend the use of the allowance.
The Board will consider the response at its March meeting.
Effectiveness of the Determination
In 2017 the Board issued a survey to all Assembly Members and Assembly Member support staff seeking their views on the effectiveness of the Determination. The results will be used by the Board to inform its future work on the Determination. A summary of the results has been published in the Board’s annual report 2017-18.