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Monday, July 06, 2009

Wales sets the pace - first impressions

One hundred and eight recommendations, an end to taxpayers paying mortgage interest for Assembly Members, a bar on claiming for furniture and fittings on second homes, the abolition of the overnight allowance, receipts to be provided for every claim, no employment of AMs' family members in future and a statutory independent body to determine pay and allowances in the future.

These are just some of the recommendations of the Sir Roger Jones report into Assembly Members pay and allowances. Others include better training for AMs and staff, cuts in the resettlement grant and more environmentally friendly mileage rates.

It is likely that the Assembly Commission will accept all of the recommendations and draw up an implementation plan. The Presiding Officer will make a statement to the Assembly on Wednesday, not from the Chair like Speaker Martin, but from the floor of the Senedd so that AMs can ask questions.

The Welsh Assembly has already set an example for Westminster to follow with the on-line publication of allowance claims now we are setting the pace for the rest of UK with a series of reforms designed to make the system more acceptable to the public, more understandable and transparent.

It is not perfect but it is a start.
If you were one the staff members whose jobs are set to be axed, Peter, I'm not sure you'd be so cheery about this.
We still have to pay your council tax and utilities and we still will not have the end of career politicians.

There should be a maximum of three yes 3 terms served by any member.

That we we cut off the head of the political elite and put democracy back in the hands of the people.
Anon, there are no proposals in this report to axe staff members. The proposals with regards to group staff can be accomodated by moving existing staff around.
For larger groups of AMs there would be too many staff to move to the restructred group offices which consist of, is it 11, posts some of which would already be occupied by existing group office staff. So there would be job losses.
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