The Wasting Mule claims that " row has broken out over a proposal that would see AMs with responsibility for young children or elderly relatives able to claim a carer’s allowance on top of their £53,852 salary".
Is this from a Labour or Plaid feminist?
No. The proposal for an additional carers’ allowance has been put forward by North Wales Conservative AM Antoinette Sandbach, whose daughter attends a boarding school in England.
It is being considered by Sir George Reid, chairman of the Assembly’s Remuneration Board, who wrote to AMs last month stating the board believed there “may be merit in such a proposal”.
: “There are three broad reasons justifying the immediate introduction of a defined carers allowance for all members:
"It would ensure that the National Assembly for Wales provides similar support for members who are carers as other legislatures in the UK. The other three UK legislatures already have caring provisions in place;
"It would demonstrate clearly and definitively to potential-candidates for future Assembly elections that caring responsibilities need not present a barrier to election; and
"Given that statistically more women than men are likely to have caring responsibilities, this would provide a lead, and set an appropriate example, for other stakeholder groups in response to calls from the Presiding Officer (and other leading Welsh politicians) for a more representative gender balance amongst AMs.”
Western Mail 27th May 2013
Last month Mr Reid wrote a letter to all AMs stating:
“The National Assembly for Wales places a significant emphasis on equality and there being no barrier to standing for election as an AM and, if elected, individual Members carrying out their duties.
“We [the Remuneration Board] believe there may be merit in such a proposal and that it should cover a wide range of caring needs that might include children, elderly relatives and partners with particular needs. We shall issue a discussion paper on the matter for consultation with Members.
"In the event of there being support for the proposal we would include such a measure in a future Determination in this Assembly. This would inform candidates standing in the 2016 Assembly election.”
Western Mail 27th May 2013
I am trying to be fair here and think for instance what my reaction would be if this had come from say Leanne Wood.
But our AM already get a reasonable remuneration package compared with most of us and the cal from someone who owns woodland, agricultural farmland and estate property in Conwy, residential property in London and shares in a Chambers building in London as Ms Sandbach, entry in the Members’ Register of Interests shows hardly look like she suffering .
With some families in Wales struggling to buy new school Uniforms each year . The idea of someone calling for greater child care when her daughter is in a boarding school even if she has no intention of making the claim herself . Makes it hard to support in these times of us "all being in it together.