Independent body to decide States Members’ pay?

AN independent body could be established to review States Members’ pay and set it at a level to ‘attract people from all walks of life’.

Picture: ROB CURRIE. (30781688)
Picture: ROB CURRIE. (30781688)

And more senior States roles, such as ministerial positions and Scrutiny panel heads, may receive higher levels of pay under the new proposals. In the UK, MPs’ basic salaries are just under £82,000, while government ministers get paid additional salaries. The Prime Minister was entitled to an additional £79,936 last year, however Jersey’s Chief Minister currently earns the same as other States politicians – £46,600.

If successful, the proposition lodged by the Privileges and Procedures Committee would see the new independent body or person review the system each Assembly term.

The States Members’ Remuneration Review Body currently sets pay levels.

If approved, the new independent reviewer should take into account three principles in assessing remuneration, according to the proposition. The proposition states that the level of remuneration ‘should reflect the central importance of elected and accountable people’s representatives in the democratic system and the responsibilities and workload associated with the roles they perform’. It also says that States Members’ pay should ‘be sufficient to ensure that representatives can enjoy a reasonable standard of living as a result of their position’.

Pay should also ‘be set at a level to attract people from all walks of life to serve the Island effectively as a States Member, mindful of the financial constraints under which the States operates’, according to the PPC proposition.

The reviewer would be ‘under a duty’ to consult Members and the Treasury Minister, according to the proposal, ‘on the economic and fiscal situation in Jersey and to take this into account in making decisions and recommendations on remuneration’. The reviewer’s determinations would take effect automatically and not be debated in the Assembly. States Members would also not be able to lodge propositions to alter remuneration levels.

The first review would take place in 2022. PPC’s proposition is set to be debated on 8 June.

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