Welsh Lib Dems challenge other parties to vote against AM pay rise

The Welsh Liberal Democrats will vote against the proposed rise in Assembly Members' pay on Wednesday, Kirsty Williams AM has announced today.

On Wednesday 11th November, Assembly Members will be asked to vote on the Assembly Commission's Budget which is set to rise by around £1.1m. This huge increase in the budget is required to pay for the salary hike proposed for AMs by the Remuneration Board.

Assembly Members' £54,000 pay is proposed to increase to £64,000 in May 2016. This 18% rise will cost taxpayers around £700,000 more per year.

Kirsty Williams AM is calling on all political parties in the Assembly to join together to vote down the Assembly budget in order to force the new Remuneration Board to scrap the proposals.

Kirsty Williams AM, Leader of the Welsh Liberal Democrats, said:

"A £10,000 pay increase is completely unacceptable and the Welsh Liberal Democrats will vote against these plans.

"It's outrageous that, at time when other public sector workers have had their salaries either frozen or rise only slightly, politicians could be getting a salary increase of 18%. I wouldn't be able to look my constituents in the eye knowing that I didn't properly fight against these plans.

"The Welsh Liberal Democrats have been consistent in our opposition to any such pay rise. Politicians from other parties have also spoken out on the issue. With that in mind, I call on those parties to join us and vote this plan down.

"By voting it down, we would be sending a powerful message to the new Remuneration Board to think again on these proposals. The proposed hike in salary doesn't start until after the Assembly elections, it is not too late for these proposals to be dumped.

"No doubt we will hear numerous excuses about why we have to vote for this budget and give ourselves a huge pay hike – that simply doesn't wash. We can stop this unfair and unnecessary pay rise and that is what the Welsh Liberal Democrats intend to do."

Welsh Liberal Democrat Assembly candidate for Pontypridd Councillor Mike Powell added:

"I am pleased that our Assembly group has decided to take this principled stand over the proposed rise in AMs pay. The members if the independent Board that set this rate showed how totally out of touch with reality they were in thinking that an 18% increase is a good idea.

"A new remuneration board has recently been set up who were not party to this decision and if a clear message were to be sent by all political parties at the Assembly then they would hopefulyl be forced to rethink."

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