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Thursday, November 04, 2004

Gravy train?

It is difficult to know what to say about the vote in the House of Commons yesterday to increase MPs' staff allowances to £80,460 as the Welsh Assembly will be facing a similar decision in a few months time. This move will cost the taxpayer £3 million.

Clearly, the timing is insensitive and the decision is contrary to the recommendation of the Senior Salaries Review Board, the independent body set up to keep these issues out of the political domain. The money will not go into MPs' pockets of course as it will be used to pay staff, nevertheless it does seem to be an unreasonable course to pursue given that the SSRB themselves did not believe there was any justification for exceeding the levels of payment that they proposed.

We shall see what the Assembly's SSRB report recommends in due course.

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