No increase in Senedd Members’ pay and barriers to standing for election to be addressed
– A consultation on the Independent Remuneration Board’s Determination for 2021-2026
The Remuneration Board has published its consultation proposing no increase in Members’ pay for the 2021-2026 Senedd and to remove barriers that may prevent people from standing to become Members of the Senedd.
The Independent Remuneration Board has today (Wednesday 5 February 2020) launched a consultation on its draft Determination which sets out the pay and allowances to be made available to Members following the next Welsh general election in May 2021.
The Board’s decision on Members’ salaries for the Sixth Senedd are based on the importance and complexity of Members’ roles and the extent of their responsibilities.
The Board acknowledges constitutional developments are afoot that may impact on the roles and responsibilities of Members and require further consideration of the pay and support available to them. These include how powers are repatriated to Wales and the UK following Brexit as well as any future recommendations on changing the number of Members made by the newly established Committee on Assembly Electoral Reform.
Dame Dawn Primarolo, Chair of the Independent Remuneration Board of the National Assembly for Wales said:
“It is likely that current constitutional developments will affect the Senedd in due course. However their impact 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 Sixth Senedd.”
Some of the changes to the Determination proposed by the Board are aimed at ensuring that the support and remuneration offered to Members do not deter people from standing for election to the Senedd. Proposals 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 normal working hours. The reimbursement of such costs would be subject to a set monthly limit, and payable only on the production of receipts from regulated care providers.
The proposals have been informed by research commissioned by the Board into the barriers and incentives to standing for election to the Senedd.
The Board’s Chair said:
“The Remuneration Board’s draft Determination for the Sixth Senedd sets out new proposals specifically aimed at removing barriers to membership of the Senedd with the aim of helping to increase diversity within the membership.
“As well as removing barriers such support could also help improve representation within the Senedd’s membership on behalf of the particular groups to which such support will be available, for instance, people with disabilities and carers.
“The Board’s aim is to contribute towards achieving diversity within the Senedd’s membership which in turn will deliver better representation for the people of Wales.
“Whilst we feel confident our proposals will contribute to this aim, we would welcome suggestions on how our proposals could be strengthened or other measures that could be taken to break down barriers to standing for election, within our remit.”
The Board is keen to hear the views of Members and their support staff, potential candidates for the general election in 2021, the public and other organisations on the draft Determination for the next Senedd. The Board will review the draft Determination in light of responses received to the consultation, with the aim of publishing a final Determination in May – a year in advance of the next Senedd election in May 2021.
Full details of the Board’s proposals are detailed in the consultation document.