Senedd members’ pay to rise for the first time after Covid pay freeze
Senedd Members’ pay is to rise for the first time after being frozen due to the Covid pandemic.
A 4.4% increase in Senedd members’ pay due for October 2020 was scrapped given the poor economic outlook.
Now the Independent Remuneration Board of the Senedd which makes the decisions has agreed a 0.4% increase to acknowledge the rise in inflation. Members’ staff will get a 3% rise. The changes take effect from tomorrow.
A Member of the Senedd’s salary is currently £67,649. The basic annual salary of a Member of Parliament (MP) in the House of Commons, for comparison, is £82,000.
The Board’s report acknowledged the “exceptional times” and admitted that several of the proposals, decided in November 2021, were “behind the curve” of the situation currently being faced.
They said they had consulted with Members, their support staff, and an outside surveying company who analysed the recent rise in office rents, before making their final decision on pay and allowances.
Dr Elizabeth Haywood, Chair of the Independent Remuneration Board of the Senedd, said: “Members’ staff are crucial to enabling Members to represent their constituents and hold the Government to account and over the last few years they have done so through an extraordinarily challenging period.
“The Board has taken into account the significant rise in living costs facing staff and believes it is right to recognise this through a modest increase in pay.”
Under the rules, the salaries are altered according to the change in gross average earnings for full-time employee jobs in Wales.
The Independent Remuneration Board had originally announced that pay would be frozen in September 2020, saying that “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,” they said.
“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.”
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