The Independent Remuneration Board of the Senedd has, in light of exceptional circumstances, published its decision to cancel any salary increase for Members of the Senedd before the start of the Sixth Senedd.
The Board’s decision was communicated in a statement to the Senedd Commission which has been laid before the Senedd.
The Board’s decision deletes paragraph 3.2.1 of the Determination on Members’ Pay and Allowances 2020-21 (“the Determination”), meaning there will be no indexation to Members’ salaries before the start of the Sixth Senedd.
This replaces the current provision, that the pay of Members and office holders is adjusted in October 2020 by +4.4 per cent, and thereafter in the April of each year by the change in the Annual Survey of Hours and Earnings (“ASHE”) gross Median Earnings for full time employee jobs in Wales between March and March the previous year.
This year, the ASHE change applied would have been a 4.4 per cent increase in pay.
The Board’s rationale for its exceptional decision, as outlined in its statement, is as follows:
“The Board recognises the important role of Members in representing their electorate and their commitment to undertaking their duties in these difficult times. At the same time, the Board considered the economic impact of the Covid-19 pandemic in Wales. The extremely unfavourable economic outlook in Wales will mean that many workers will experience hardship, be it through reduced salary or unemployment. The Board is of the view that the economic picture has changed significantly since the Board reviewed the matter in March at the start of the pandemic. It is becoming clearer that the pandemic will have longer term impacts and given the rapidly changing public health context in the past three weeks, it is now highly likely that the extremely poor economic outlook will prevail for the next six months.
“Given these considerations, the Board believes that allowing any pay rise to take place in such conditions would be unsuitable and difficult to justify.”
A full copy of the statement is available here.