The Independent Remuneration Board has published its Determination which sets out the pay and allowances available to Members of the Senedd following the next Senedd election in May 2021. Some of the changes included in this Determination are aimed at ensuring that the support and remuneration offered to Members do not deter people from standing for election to the Senedd.
The Board consulted on such changes earlier this year and the new provisions in this Determination include:
– An allowance for Members to help meet costs incurred in relation to a disability or disabilities. This is an extension of an existing provision.
– Additional resources to help with a Member’s workload during their period of parental leave.
– A contribution towards care costs for children and / or dependants when Members are required to work beyond family friendly hours, reflecting similar arrangements that are in place for local authority members in Wales. The reimbursement of such costs would be subject to a set monthly limit and be payable for care provided by regulated care providers only.
The Board is committed to publishing this Determination approximately one year ahead of the election in order to provide those thinking of standing for election with clarity on the pay and allowances that will be available to them as Members of the Senedd, if elected.
Preparation of this Determination has been informed by research commissioned by the Board into the barriers and incentives to standing for election to the Senedd, as well as consultation with elected Members , their staff, political parties, stakeholders and the public.
Dame Dawn Primarolo, Chair of the Independent Remuneration Board of the Senedd said:
“The Independent Remuneration Board’s Determination for the Sixth Senedd sets out new provisions specifically aimed at removing barriers to becoming a Member of the Senedd. Our aim is to help increase diversity within the membership.
“Our elected representatives play a hugely important role in our lives. We entrust them to make decisions on our behalf which shape the world around us. At the heart of our decisions is our wish to eliminate potential barriers which might otherwise deter people with the ability and commitment to be Members of the Senedd from standing for election and encourage a diversity in representation. Such support is designed to help for instance, people with disabilities and carers, by making more support available where needed for those Members to undertake their parliamentary duties effectively.
“The Board has sought to apply the existing Determination in such a way as to help Members adapt to the challenges posed by the current pandemic and ensure resilience in the Senedd. We trust the revised Determination published today will enable the Sixth Senedd to respond effectively to future challenges.
“On behalf of the Board, I would like to thank all those who have contributed to the development of this Determination by sharing their ideas and views with us.”
The Determination also reflects the Board’s decisions on Members’ salaries for the next Senedd, which are based on the importance and complexity of Members’ roles and the extent of their responsibilities.
On Members’ salaries, the Chair of the Board said:
“It is likely that current constitutional developments will affect the Senedd in due course, for example how powers are repatriated following Brexit and the potential for changes to the size of the Senedd as is being considered by the Committee on Senedd Electoral Reform. However the impact of such potential changes on Members’ roles and responsibilities are not clear at this time. Therefore the Board has decided that the current salary arrangements should be maintained for the next Senedd.”