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Government of Wales Act 2006

Remuneration, oaths etc.

Section 20: Remuneration of Assembly members

94.This section provides for the payment of salaries and allowances to current Assembly members, and for the payment of pensions, gratuities and allowances to former members and office-holders.

95.Subsection (1) imposes a duty on the Assembly to provide for the payment of salaries to Assembly members. The Assembly is free to determine the amount of any salary.

96.Subsection (2) permits the Assembly to provide for the payment of allowances to Assembly members. It is for the Assembly to decide what allowances are payable.

97.Subsection (3) allows the Assembly to make provision for the payment of pensions, gratuities or allowances to former Assembly members, and to the former holders of certain offices (such as the Presiding Officer and Deputy Presiding Officer) even though they may still remain Assembly members.

98.Subsection (4) permits the Assembly to include in any provision under subsection (3) provision for contributions or payments towards pensions, gratuities and allowances. The Assembly can also make arrangements for the establishment and administration of one or more pension schemes. It can do this through the Assembly Commission or by such other means as the Assembly decides.

99.Payments of salaries, allowances and pensions, etc. to current and past Presiding and Deputy Presiding Officers are to be charged on the Welsh Consolidated Fund (so that payment will not need to be authorised annually by the Assembly).

100.Provision for payments under this section may be made either by the Assembly’s standing orders or by Assembly resolution and may also be the subject of an Assembly Measure under Part 3 of the Act. Functions may be conferred on the Assembly Commission.

101.Paragraph 12 of Schedule 11 provides for pay etc, determinations made under sections 16 and 18 of the Government of Wales Act 1998 to continue in force post-repeal of those section as if they had been made under this section.

Section 21: Limit on salaries of members

102.This section requires the Assembly to reduce the salary of any Assembly member who also receives a salary as a Member of Parliament or a Member of the European Parliament. The amount by which the salary is reduced is a matter for the Assembly. Expenses paid to Members of the House of Lords do not give rise to a reduction since they are not a salary. The reduction must be either of a particular proportion of the Assembly member’s salary, or the whole, or a proportion of the other salary or some other amount.

103.Provision for the reduction may be made either by the Assembly’s standing orders or by Assembly resolution and may also be the subject of an Assembly Measure under Part 3 of the Act. Functions may be conferred on the Assembly Commission.

Section 22: Remuneration: Supplementary

104.This section makes supplementary provisions about the remuneration of Assembly members. These include requiring the Assembly to publish annually information on the total amount paid, and the amounts paid to individual members, by way of salary and allowances, and also requiring the Assembly Commission, if it has had conferred on it the function of determining the levels of salaries, allowances, pensions and gratuities, to publish any determinations it makes as soon as is reasonably practicable.

Section 23: Oath or affirmation of allegiance

105.Every Assembly member is required by this section to take an oath of allegiance or to make a corresponding affirmation. Standing orders must specify the person before whom the oath is to be taken or the affirmation made. If an Assembly member has already, since being returned as a member at the last election, taken the oath of allegiance (or affirmed) in the capacity of a Welsh Minister or Counsel General (see section 55) then the oath or affirmation need not be repeated.

106.Until a member has taken the oath (or affirmed) that member may not take part in any proceedings of the Assembly other than those at which the oath is taken (or affirmation made) or earlier proceedings to elect a Presiding Officer or Deputy Presiding Officer. Neither may any salary, allowances, pension or gratuity be paid to the member.

Section 24: Assistance to groups of Assembly members

107.This section requires the Assembly Commission to make payments to (or in respect of) political groups, where the Assembly has so determined, in order to assist Assembly members belonging to those groups to perform their functions as Assembly members. Corresponding provision is made in section 34A of the Government of Wales Act 1998 (as inserted by section 158(1) of the Political Parties, Elections and Referendums Act 2000).

108.Any determination by the Assembly that political groups should receive such payments, and fixing the amount which each is to receive, must, in order to have effect, be supported by at least two-thirds of the Assembly members voting.

109.Standing orders must provide the means of determining to which group, if any, a member belongs. They can require a political group to have a minimum number of Assembly Members belonging to it before it is recognised as such.

110.Standing Orders must provide for publication of every determination under this section and of information about sums paid to political groups during each financial year.

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