Plaid Cymru have really 'p***ed in the fat' tonight by breaking ranks on the recommendation of the National Assembly Commission to grant an 8.3% increase in salary for Assembly Members. We've known for a while that this big increase was coming - as a result of the extra powers granted to the Assembly under the second Government of Wales Act. I remember Edna Mopbucket telling me that she'd heard some 'champagne celebrations' on the back of this monster boost in salary before Xmas. Plaid have ensured that the announcement has been made with a bit of 'fizz'.
Now, I've got a fair idea how these things work. I used to be a member of the House Committee, the predecessor to the Assembly Commission. There would have been a determined attempt to secure 'all party agreement' to accept this increase, keep their heads down and leave it to 'the appointed one' to face the media - which in this case looks to have been William Graham. But it looks as if Plaid Cymru have seen an open goal over this, and I reckon they might score one or two as well. I reckon there's probably a fair bit of bad feeling around Cardiff Bay tonight. It was interesting to see that Plaid Cymru AM and Llywydd, Lord Elis Thomas speaking out in support of the increase. I wonder if Plaid Cymru AMs are going to take the increase? And not just for one year either. If at any stage in the future, Plaid politicians decide to take any of this increase (beyond the 2% inflationary bit), we should make sure that they take the hit then. I've asked Edna to keep an eye on this for me.