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MPs’ self-approved $2,300 salary increase is ‘self-serving’ says taxpayers’ group


Ryan Strome

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Every Canadian member of Parliament and senator started getting bigger paycheques just days after the Liberal government released a budget projecting years of deficits and offering no plan to eventually balance the books.

 

While salary increases for parliamentarians are determined by a federal law, a secretive multi-party committee of MPs that oversees the House of Commons administration can decline a pay raise, and move to freeze their salaries through legislation.

With the Board of Internal Economy’s approval though, MPs will take home a base salary of $172,700 this year, up from $170,400 last year.

Many MPs, however, receive salaries beyond the base as compensation for additional roles and duties; Prime Minister Justin Trudeau will earn $345,400, while House Speaker Geoff Regan, interim Conservative Leader Rona Ambrose, and all ministers and ministers of state will earn $255,300.

NDP Leader Tom Mulcair, party whips, parliamentary secretaries and committee chairs all also receive additional salaries of varying amounts.

 

Senators, who by law required to receive annual salaries $25,000 less than MPs, will make $147,700 this year, up from $145,400 last year.

Neither Liberal cabinet minister Dominic Leblanc nor Conservative MP Gord Brown, who are the spokespeople for the Board of Internal Economy, responded to emailed questions asking why the board approved the raise when the government is dealing with deep deficits.

One critic described the raise as “self-serving.”

 

“The context matters,” said Aaron Wudrick, national director for the right-leaning Canadian Taxpayers Federation. Part of that context is the deficits the Liberals are projecting, he said.

Whereas Trudeau campaigned in 2015 on running “modest” deficits of $10 billion, that figure has consistently ballooned since his election and is now expected to reach $25.5 billion by March 31, 2018.

 

The previous Conservative government froze salaries for all MPs, including cabinet ministers and then-prime minister Stephen Harper, as well as for all senators in 2010, as the global economic crisis hit. During a time of austerity, the government declared the wage freeze was an effort to “lead by example.”

 

 

That freeze lasted three years, until March 31, 2013. Since then, an MP’s base salary has increased 9.5 per cent to $172,700 from $157,730 – a difference of $14,970.

As reported by iPolitics on Wednesday morning, the salary bump for parliamentarians is higher than what the government agreed to pay its public servants and executives – 1.4 per cent compared to 1.25 per cent.

 

https://www.google.ca/amp/globalnews.ca/news/3408619/mp-salary-raise-canada-justin-trudeau-salary/amp/

 

How nice. Typical Canadian politics.

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2 minutes ago, Western Red said:

They need to bring up the disability and yes, welfare payments. This massive inequality doesn't reflect well to anyone with a conscience.

Veterans pay, seniors, disabled, more military spending but nope instead they give themselves raises.

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Wouldn't it be nice to decide if/when you get a raise. How greedy are our MPs. You're already making $170k! I think we should dramatically lower how much they earn. They're on par with what American congressman/congresswoman make although we have a far inferior population. Seeing as MPs are the voice of a region of people, shouldn't they make a lot less than an American congressman/congresswoman who is the voice of a far greater amount of people? 

 

On average a congressman/congresswoman would have to represent the interests of roughly 9x more people than an MP. Why should we pay our MPs the same as congressmen and women. In my mind they should be making 100k at most. I understand the reason they're well paid is to ensure that they want for nothing so they're less likely to be corruptible however we have to set a line in the sand here. As well as their salary they use tax dollars to travel, stay in hotels, go out to lunches/dinners, etc... So it's already a pretty cushy job. I also understand there isn't much job security as you need to be constantly re-elected but all in all, $170k is already excessive yet they're still getting raises. Why don't we give them raises based on performance like the rest of the world. Why don't they donate half their salaries to certain public sectors that need it? Rant/

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Not a surprise at all !!

While children in B.C. and right from coast to coast will go to bed hungry tonight.

Seniors from coast to coast will have to decide if they really need that heart medication that is keeping them alive 

And so on.

How do they sleep at night. :angry:

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I actually wrote a paper on this in University

 

My professor refused to give me more than a pass fail because he firmly believed we needed the "best and brightest" leading our country and as such our MPs and MLAs needed to be paid accordingly.

 

My paper basically dictated that public servants are just that servants.  That their expense accounts alone far exceeded the median national yearly income, and when things like travel and gift reimbursement, health and medical/dental and pensions were factored in were over the threshold of someone making almost $382,000 per year back in 2001.

 

IMO, a person serving this country should be paid no more no less than the men and women LITERALLY serving this country.  A term no more no less than 5 years on contract, where the income is tied to the countries economic health.  No more nor less than $50,000 a year for an MP, $65,000 for a cabinet minster and $100,000 for the PM

 

All other forms or sources of income must be signed off in to trust and accounts frozen, until such time as they left office.  Their expense accounts adjusted accordingly.  In good year they would recieve bonuses, in bad years austerity.

 

People serving this country forget that they are in fact servants and instead spend more time talking to their lobbyists, party donators and business elite than they do working for the people

 

The BC Legislature is the pinncle of what I am speaking of.  In last nights debate NOBODY thought to bring up that in the last 5 years, FIVE YEARS the legislative assembly has not sat for more than 380 days.  380 days at work in Victoria, the rest doing???

 

Sorry nobody can say working because in BC Clarks offices have been closed off to the public, my local MLA is "taking messages" and we only see them when it is time for a photograph.

 

We need to bring this back to square one.  No way in hell these people work harder than a front line phone operator for CRA during April at any point in time during their year

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1 hour ago, Ryan Strome said:

What is the tax rate for an mp? 

Actually miimal due to the amount of write offs they can successfully net via expense accounts and necessary travel.  Look no further than Duffy Wallin and the senators.  They write off EVERYTHING

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1 minute ago, Warhippy said:

I actually wrote a paper on this in University

 

My professor refused to give me more than a pass fail because he firmly believed we needed the "best and brightest" leading our country and as such our MPs and MLAs needed to be paid accordingly.

 

My paper basically dictated that public servants are just that servants.  That their expense accounts alone far exceeded the median national yearly income, and when things like travel and gift reimbursement, health and medical/dental and pensions were factored in were over the threshold of someone making almost $382,000 per year back in 2001.

 

IMO, a person serving this country should be paid no more no less than the men and women LITERALLY serving this country.  A term no more no less than 5 years on contract, where the income is tied to the countries economic health.  No more nor less than $50,000 a year for an MP, $65,000 for a cabinet minster and $100,000 for the PM

 

All other forms or sources of income must be signed off in to trust and accounts frozen, until such time as they left office.  Their expense accounts adjusted accordingly.  In good year they would recieve bonuses, in bad years austerity.

 

People serving this country forget that they are in fact servants and instead spend more time talking to their lobbyists, party donators and business elite than they do working for the people

 

The BC Legislature is the pinncle of what I am speaking of.  In last nights debate NOBODY thought to bring up that in the last 5 years, FIVE YEARS the legislative assembly has not sat for more than 380 days.  380 days at work in Victoria, the rest doing???

 

Sorry nobody can say working because in BC Clarks offices have been closed off to the public, my local MLA is "taking messages" and we only see them when it is time for a photograph.

 

We need to bring this back to square one.  No way in hell these people work harder than a front line phone operator for CRA during April at any point in time during their year

I disagree and I know my opinion is very unpopular. But most MLAs and MPs take massive pay-cuts when they join their respective legislature. I do believe that with the responsibility they bare they deserve to make more (and that pay increases are just). I understand for the median voter it seems like elected officials make a lot of money but these are very successful people who often take politics up for power, prestige and in some case obligation to public service. I do feel like more of the "best and brightest" would entertain politics if the financial incentive was there. 

 

And just as a FYI, they work a ton. Anyone who has worked in an officials office understands this. Sitting in the legislature is an incredibly small aspect of their job, yet it gets portrayed as the most important if not the only component of their job. They are on the working 24/7 maybe not in a traditional sense that the average person would call a job. Every time they go out to the grocery store or the park; every conversation they have with the mailman or the store clerk; every action or inaction they do in their personal or professional life is under the microscope and is critically dissected. 

 

I find the common adage that they don't work and are overpaid as a very superficial and knee jerk reaction to a more complicated issue.

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4 minutes ago, TheHitman said:

Anyone know what MLAs make?

"Basic compensation for a Member of the Legislative Assembly (MLA) is established under the Members' Remuneration and Pensions Act (MRPA). Effective April 1, 2016, the annual basic compensation each MLAreceives is $104,009.66.Apr 1, 2015

 

That's B.C

Keep in mind cabinet ministers and the Premier make far more. They also write off anything and everything.

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43 minutes ago, Ryan Strome said:

@baumerman77 mps do not work 24/7 not even close. 

This is true, but Baumerman was also correct that they work far more than just the time they are at the legislature.

 

My brother used to work for our local MP, and he was a very hard working guy.  It's probably one of the biggest reasons he kept getting re-elected.

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1 hour ago, baumerman77 said:

I disagree and I know my opinion is very unpopular. But most MLAs and MPs take massive pay-cuts when they join their respective legislature. I do believe that with the responsibility they bare they deserve to make more (and that pay increases are just). I understand for the median voter it seems like elected officials make a lot of money but these are very successful people who often take politics up for power, prestige and in some case obligation to public service. I do feel like more of the "best and brightest" would entertain politics if the financial incentive was there. 

 

And just as a FYI, they work a ton. Anyone who has worked in an officials office understands this. Sitting in the legislature is an incredibly small aspect of their job, yet it gets portrayed as the most important if not the only component of their job. They are on the working 24/7 maybe not in a traditional sense that the average person would call a job. Every time they go out to the grocery store or the park; every conversation they have with the mailman or the store clerk; every action or inaction they do in their personal or professional life is under the microscope and is critically dissected. 

 

I find the common adage that they don't work and are overpaid as a very superficial and knee jerk reaction to a more complicated issue.

IMO, I think you're looking at that in the wrong way. We shouldn't want our so called "best and brightest" to become MLAs and MPs for the money, power, etc... It should solely be out of a sense of duty and/or an ambition to change our country for the better. I think that restricting their salaries to a lower number would attract people who are genuinely passionate about the job. 

 

Also, our best and brightest don't accurately represent the majority of Canadians. We're a representative democracy however I don't feel represented and I'm sure a lot of Canadians feel the same way. I believe that we should be looking for representatives that actually represent the people living in that specific riding. At the very least there should be requirements for them to have grown up in that riding or have close ties with that riding. No matter how intelligent you are or how educated you are, if you didn't grow up in that region or spend a significant amount of time there, you won't know its people. 

 

As an example, John Aldag is the MP for Cloverdale - Langley City. He grew up in Saskatchewan. He actually only lived in the Langley area for about 10 years. Granted 10 years is a long time and definitely enough to get a good grasp on an area and it's people, however, he spent the large majority of his life elsewhere. He was raised with the values and problems of his city. I'm sure he's an intelligent fellow, and he did work for Parks Canada for over 30 years which was of great service but I don't believe he will be able to represent the interests of the people in his riding properly due to the fact for the majority of his life he's been elsewhere. 

 

I don't want it to sound like your place of birth is the only factor that's important cause it's definitely not. My point is this, say we have two candidates: one was born and raised in the riding and got his education and experience in this riding (or nearby), but the other candidate was raised across the country, gained his education and experience across the country but worked in this riding for 10 years. Which one do you think is more in tune with the issues in this riding? Which one do you think will best represent the majority of people in said riding? 

 

I'm with Warhippy on this one. They are public servants. If they wish to make lots of money they should go into the private sector. We don't want people becoming politicians purely for the money and power. We want them to become representatives of our people, not representatives of their own self interests or the interests of corporations. Giving themselves a raise proves as much. 

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55 minutes ago, goalie13 said:

This is true, but Baumerman was also correct that they work far more than just the time they are at the legislature.

 

My brother used to work for our local MP, and he was a very hard working guy.  It's probably one of the biggest reasons he kept getting re-elected.

It's really just bad optics. I think for a lot of people they see and job as something that starts when you get to location X in the morning and ends when you leave in the afternoon. Through this frame of reference it is difficult to see the elected officials job as anything but sitting in the legislature. However, their jobs are exhausting - every conversation has political connotations when your an elected politician. 

 

Moreover, these "raises" seems like a lot from the perspective of the average citizen but really they hardly add up to anything more than a rounding error on the books. Heck if we can attract better candidates for public office by increasing their salaries it could pay off by them making their departments more efficient and thus saving the tax payers money (this has been demonstrated in the academic literature). Not to mention these people could offer better policy ideas.

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9 minutes ago, Wonder__Bread said:

IMO, I think you're looking at that in the wrong way. We shouldn't want our so called "best and brightest" to become MLAs and MPs for the money, power, etc... It should solely be out of a sense of duty and/or an ambition to change our country for the better. I think that restricting their salaries to a lower number would attract people who are genuinely passionate about the job. 

 

Also, our best and brightest don't accurately represent the majority of Canadians. We're a representative democracy however I don't feel represented and I'm sure a lot of Canadians feel the same way. I believe that we should be looking for representatives that actually represent the people living in that specific riding. At the very least there should be requirements for them to have grown up in that riding or have close ties with that riding. No matter how intelligent you are or how educated you are, if you didn't grow up in that region or spend a significant amount of time there, you won't know its people. 

 

As an example, John Aldag is the MP for Cloverdale - Langley City. He grew up in Saskatchewan. He actually only lived in the Langley area for about 10 years. Granted 10 years is a long time and definitely enough to get a good grasp on an area and it's people, however, he spent the large majority of his life elsewhere. He was raised with the values and problems of his city. I'm sure he's an intelligent fellow, and he did work for Parks Canada for over 30 years which was of great service but I don't believe he will be able to represent the interests of the people in his riding properly due to the fact for the majority of his life he's been elsewhere. 

 

I don't want it to sound like your place of birth is the only factor that's important cause it's definitely not. My point is this, say we have two candidates: one was born and raised in the riding and got his education and experience in this riding (or nearby), but the other candidate was raised across the country, gained his education and experience across the country but worked in this riding for 10 years. Which one do you think is more in tune with the issues in this riding? Which one do you think will best represent the majority of people in said riding? 

 

I'm with Warhippy on this one. They are public servants. If they wish to make lots of money they should go into the private sector. We don't want people becoming politicians purely for the money and power. We want them to become representatives of our people, not representatives of their own self interests or the interests of corporations. Giving themselves a raise proves as much. 

Nobody goes into politics for money. The fact of the matter is that people respond to incentives, regardless of whether you want them to hold to a normative ideal. If increasing salary will attract more people who can govern more efficiently with great ideas, I think the minimal cost of their salary can be offset by the greater good they can achieve.  The academic literature largely supports this idea.

 

It seems very counter-intuitive but if you using the starting point as "what do we want from government" and then work your way backwards (how do we get that type of government) increase elected officials salaries makes more sense.

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