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Understanding devolution in Wales
Understanding devolution in Wales

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3.1 Arguments against more MSs

The arguments against focus on the unpopularity of spending significantly more public money on politicians. In 2020, the Senedd Commission estimated that 30 additional MSs would cost around £12m per year.

Commenting on the 2022 announcement of 36 additional MSs, Welsh Conservative leader Andrew RT Davies said:

Wales does not need more politicians in Cardiff Bay – we need more teachers, doctors, dentists, and nurses.

With residents across the country facing cost-of-living pressures, the last thing they need is to be footing the bill – expected to be more than £75 million over five years at least – for Labour and Plaid’s pet project.

Ministers should be spending that money on tackling the big issues facing Wales, not wasting time and cash looking at upping the number of Senedd members.

(The Independent, 2022)

Some who oppose an increase in MSs argue that rearranging the parliamentary timetable would create more opportunities for scrutiny. The Welsh Conservatives take this view.