ASSEMBLY members say the rocketing cost of holidays is forcing them to jet off to the sun while the institution is in session.
Plaid Cymru leader Ieuan Wyn Jones came under fire this week after it was revealed he missed the Queen’s official opening of the fourth Assembly term as he was on holiday in the south of France.
During a heated Senedd session First Minister Carwyn Jones claimed his Plaid rival took ‘the biscuit and the bloody sun lounger,’ for taking a holiday while the Assembly is sitting.
The Assembly had only held one brief session since the May 5 election before pausing for its Whitsun half term break and officially opening on Tuesday, June 7. AMs must plough through just a few more weeks work before breaking for their summer holidays and returning back to the Senedd in late September.
But many of those weeks coincide with the school summer holidays, pushing prices up and meaning AMs – attempting to de-stress from their incredibly important job of running the country – must share airports, planes and resorts with unruly children.
Some high class Cardiff travel agents even charge a premium for the periods when they know the Assembly is in recess to take advantage of the limited period that AMs have to book their holidays.
One AM who spoke to WNN on condition of anonymity said: “It’s alright for Carwyn, who’s worked as a barrister and has his First Minister’s salary, to get all high and mighty about holidays but it’s not as easy for the rest of us.
“It’s not just the cost, but who wants to go to Magaluf, or even the south of France, when there are little bastard children everywhere. Honestly if we wanted to work with screaming kids and have to cram our holidays into a limited six week period every summer we’d work as teachers.”
A cross party poll of AMs has shown half are willing to risk a tongue lashing from the First Minister for taking holidays while the Assembly is sitting to ensure they pay less for their holidays.
Travel expert Holly Days said: “Although some politicians are understandably up in arms about the premiums they are forced to pay in order to take themselves away during Assembly holidays, it should be remembered that this really comes down to the basic principle of supply and demand.
‘When more people want to get away, and there are a limited number of seats and hotel rooms available, prices will increase.
‘My advice to AMs considering taking themselves out of the Assembly would be firstly to seek permission from their party leader.
‘Secondly they should opt for taking time out at the end of the term rather than the beginning that’s where Ieuan Wyn went wrong, it was just too high profile an occasion.”