Members’ pay and expenses
Assembly Members are entitled to resources to employ staff and run offices in their constituencies so that they can deal with issues and cases raised by the people they represent. They are also entitled to be reimbursed for any expenses incurred when it has been necessary to stay away from their main home overnight when carrying out official Assembly duties.
The rules surrounding what they are entitled to claim for are contained within a ‘Determination’, National Assembly for Wales Remuneration Board Determination on Members' Pay and Allowances (PDF, 10.8MB)
Expenses claims will broadly fall under one of four main allowance types:
Office Costs Allowance (i.e. office expenses related to their duties as an Assembly Member)
Additional Costs Allowance (i.e. expenses incurred in staying overnight away from their main home for the purpose of performing their duties as a Assembly Member)
Travel Costs Allowance (i.e. travel expenses incurred by Assembly Members due to their Assembly duties)
Staffing Expenditure Allowance (i.e. expenses incurred related to the employment of staff)
The above claims from 2008 onwards are published online and can be searched using the Allowance Publication System. You can search by month, allowance type, expenditure or even Assembly Member. Claims are listed by the month in which the claim was made, not the date that the expense was incurred and are published three months in arrears.
An Assembly Member’s salary is currently £67,649. It was set at £64,000 at the start of the Fifth Assembly and is indexed to average earnings in Wales (see para 3.9, page 11 of the Determination). Some Members may be eligible for further salaries if they hold one of the additional offices, such as a Ministerial appointment or Committee Chair position, listed in paragraph 3.1.4 of the Determination. It was set at £64,000 at the start of the Fifth Assembly and is indexed to average earnings in Wales (see para 3.9, page 11 of the Determination). Some Members may be eligible for further salaries if they hold one of the additional offices, such as a Ministerial appointment or Committee Chair position, listed in paragraph 3.1.4 of the Determination.
Figures included are provisional as they are subject to external audit. Also, where disclosure of details of a claim would involve disclosure of sensitive personal data or pose a potential security risk (e.g. information relating to home address, regular journey details or a medical condition) reference to the particulars have been omitted from the disclosure. This is required under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 as amended by the Freedom of Information (Parliament and National Assembly for Wales) Order 2008.
Staffing Expenditure Allowance
From April 2019 the Assembly Commission will publish the annual staffing expenditure of each Assembly Member. Assembly Members’ who employ two, or less, staff will not be included.
Please note: There are Members who receive an additional allowance (Support for Political Parties) because they are not part of a Political Party. These Members are highlighted in bold. In addition Members can transfer a proportion of funds between their allowances, which enables them to increase one budget over another.
For the purpose of promoting certainty and consistency in the application of the Determination, the Members’ Business Support team must maintain and publish a record of any question referred to the Chief Executive and Clerk under paragraph 1.4.1 of the decision reached and of the reasons for the decision. The published record must, so far as possible, exclude any information disclosing the identity of the individual Member.
In December 2017, a Member appealed against a decision made regarding a claim for car hire. The original request was approved although a further claim was declined as approval had not been sought for the extended period, albeit the claim was for a legitimate reason. The appeal was considered and the Member was reimbursed for 50% of the costs because approval for car hire had been granted originally and the time period which it covered was not clear.
The Chief Executive & Clerk received an appeal against a decision that travel and accommodation costs for Assembly Member Support Staff to attend a party conference which would enable them to support Assembly Members’ in engaging with stakeholders and in policy development work, could not be reimbursed. The Chief Executive & Clerk upheld the decision on the basis that work undertaken at the conference would be classed as party political activity therefore contravening section 1.3.3 in the Determination which states:
“Allowances will be paid or reimbursed only where the expense relates to a Member carrying out duties of an Assembly Member. Claims must not be made for expenditure relating to party political activity.”
During 2017-18 these Members undertook International travel, as per section 5.15 of the Determination, and drafted the following reports:
Mohammad Asghar AM
The Remuneration Board is an independent Board, set up in 2010 to look at Assembly Members' pay and allowances. The Board's main job is making sure Assembly Members have the right resources.