Tories promising to ‘end Assembly gravy train’ cost taxpayers more than AMs from other parties

Paul Davies. © Russell Hart/Alamy Live News.

Conservative members of the National Assembly cost taxpayers more on average than members of any other party, official figures reveal.

The 11 Conservative AMs have claimed £177,837 this financial year in allowances for office, travel, accommodation and staff costs.

It means the average cost of a Conservative AM is £15,624 – over £1000 more than other parties.

Nation’s research comes after Paul Davies, leader of the Conservative group in the Assembly, said his party would “end the Assembly gravy train” if they won power at next year’s elections.

“A Welsh Conservative Government will cut the cost of politics,” he told his party’s annual conference in Llangollen. “We will seek to freeze the Assembly Commission’s budget for the full five-year term, and there will be no increase in the number of politicians in Wales under my leadership.”

But the cost of Conservative AMs in Wales is on average higher than other parties, official figures show, at an average of £15,624 per member.

So far in the 19/20 financial year, Labour’s 29 AMs have claimed £347,216 in allowances – an average of £11,972 per member.

Plaid Cymru’s 10 AMs have claimed £140,531 – an average of £14,053 per member. The 10 AMs who represent other parties or are independents have claimed £123,872 – an average of £12,378 each.

Paul Davies himself has a higher than average expense claim for his party at £17,440, including £7,950 costs so far this financial year for a second address.

That’s made up of £700 a month rent, a £66 a month electricity bill, an annual £1794 council tax bill and £154 annual fee for a TV license.

 

Assistant

Plaid Cymru also pointed out that 82% of Conservative AMs have relatives working for them or are employed by Conservative colleagues in the Assembly.

Two relatives of Conservative AMs are employed in the office of Paul Davies alone.

Plaid Cymru leader Adam Price said: “I have one suggestion to curb the ‘gravy train’ as your call it – stop the Tories employing their own family in their offices.”

Brexit Party and Labour AMs also employ family members. Three of their four Brexit Party AMs employ family members. Eight of the 29 Labour AMs also employ family members.

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Huw Davies
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Huw Davies

Not surprising. After all when you employ family you should make an effort to reward them at the top of the range otherwise there’ll be stony silences around the dinner table !

John Ellis
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John Ellis

Quite; you can bet that if the Tories were voted into power here they would indeed seek to ‘cut the cost of politics’ here in Wales in a number of ways.

But such cost-cutting as might occur would involve neither the expenses claimed nor the future of the Senedd: those who’ve come to value their transfusions don’t seek to choke off the supply!

Ernie The Smallholder
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Ernie The Smallholder

This on the week that the Tories at Westminster vote themselves a large pay rise.

Our parliament gives us good value for money, with AMs pay restraint.
That Tory tribe are so Anti-Welsh !

Well, that is imperialism. Smoke and mirrors.

K. K
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K. K

Well well – isn’t that a big surprise. It isn’t as if anyone would ever join their party with a view to using taxpayers money to employ family members.

What was that Mr Ashgar? You want to leave Plaid Cymru for political reasons? Of course you do. Of course you do.

Roger Hayward
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Roger Hayward

Well if you employ family members to lick your stamps, it is going to cost more. Shame on the Conservatives for employing wives to do such tasks and then to criticise the Assembly Government for over spending.

John Ellis
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John Ellis

You’re forgetting the daughters – not to mention the occasional son …

Jonathan Gammond
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Jonathan Gammond

It might be better to limit the employment of relatives to one. There are some good reasons for politicians to employ kith or kin, but one is enough to satisfy those reasons. After that, it is little more than nepotism.
Considering the powers and responsibilities of backbench AMs and MPs, what are these employees achieving?

Phil
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Phil

Why should AMs be any different to their party leaders n Westminster look at Patel who employs her husband or previous prime minister who’s husband go many lucrative contracts for his his security company ie Olympics prisons etc ?