Members—allowances and expenses
Members—allowances and expenses

The following Local Government guidance note provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Members—allowances and expenses
  • Members’ allowances schemes in England
  • Independent remuneration panel
  • Special responsibility allowances
  • Parish councils
  • Members' allowances schemes in Wales
  • Taxation

The remuneration of members is a contentious issue. The public service approach is that members enter politics to serve the community, not for financial gain, so the role should not attract levels of remuneration that could encourage people to stand for the wrong reasons. Related to this argument is the fear that higher remuneration could encourage people to become full-time career councillors, thereby limiting the amount of life and work experience accumulated by members. In contrast, the professional approach emphasises the view that the current basic allowances do not represent a living wage sufficient to allow anyone without independent means to serve on the council, and may even cause young and dynamic members to leave.

Members’ allowances schemes in England

The legislative framework for members’ allowances is contained in the Local Government and Housing Act 1989, the Local Government Act 2000 and the Local Authorities (Members’ Allowances) (England) Regulations 2003. Local authorities must establish a members’ allowances scheme that provides for the payment of a basic allowance, which is intended to recognise the time commitment of all members, including such inevitable engagements as meeting with officers and constituents and attendance at political group meetings. It is also intended to cover incidental costs such as the use of their homes.

The scheme may also include:

  1. a special responsibility allowance (payable to