They’re not even 6 months on the job yet, but the Trudeau Liberals are so impressed with themselves that a salary increase is in order.
The Liberal-dominated Board of Internal Economy (BOIE) has seen fit to provide all 338 Members of Parliament (along with 105 Senators) with a raise, bringing up the basic MP salary to $170,400 and the basic Senator salary to $145,400. Along with raises, office budgets for MPs were also increased substantially.
Previously, in the aftermath of the global economic crisis of 2007-2008, the then Conservative government legislated a freeze on parliamentarian salaries that continued for several years, in a gesture that was positively received by Canadians at large.
The Liberal raise was given despite the struggles of the resource sector, and despite a massive 30 billion deficit for this year – a Liberal deficit that is projected to continue indefinitely, adding more than 110 billion dollars of debt to Canada over 5 years.
There are serious questions about the priorities of this government when funds are readily available for MPs and Senator salaries (and almost anything else outside of defence), yet there isn’t money to live up to promises made to job creators or to continue supporting families.
The Liberals are keeping the small businesses tax rate at 10.5% instead of lowering it to the scheduled 9% – a scheduled policy that had near unanimous support from all political parties. The Liberals are also ending the small business hiring credit. These items entail that one of the largest group of employers in Canada is going to have less money to generate growth. However, Parliamentarians are still receiving raises.
The Liberals are ending the Children`s Fitness Tax Credit; the Children`s Art Tax Credit and also eliminated are tax credits for post-secondary education & textbooks. Income splitting for parents is also gone. However, Parliamentarians are still receiving raises.
A myriad of spending items were outlined in the Liberal’s inaugural Budget, causing the Government to break a key election promise to limit deficits to 10 billion dollars a year. Current deficits are so large that a freeze on parliamentarian salaries and office budgets would only amount to a drop in the bucket in terms of savings for the fiscal framework. However, drops add up, and it would be a welcome gesture for the government to actually show solidarity with struggling Canadians they are supposed to represent. However, Parliamentarians are still receiving raises.
Parliamentarians earn salaries that far exceed those of the average Canadian. Being an MP (or a Senator) is a difficult job, fraught with uncertainty, and a high salary for the position is justifiable. However, it sends an extremely poor message to Canadians when political leaders pay themselves before ensuring that the sustainability of our country is properly attended to . An indefinite freeze on MP/Senator salaries and office budgets should be in order until the books are balanced and our indefinite deficit is eliminated. However, so long as the Liberals hold Government, it appears that Parliamentarians will still be receiving raises.