Why Liberal MPs don’t deserve the raise they just gave themselves

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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.

 

 

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The Deficit Rag

Here’s a classic tune from The Simpsons, in honour of the reported $150 billion in Trudeau deficits projected by TD Bank:

“The Deficit Rag”

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Singer: Harry Shearer
Writer(s): Alf Clausen & George Meyer
Appearance: “Mr. Lisa Goes to Washington”

Lyrics: “The deficit rag, oh yes the deficit rag! Those budget gaps can be a 12-digit drag! I’m telling you, that’s the deficit, they really made a mess of it, that’s the deficit ra-a-ag!”

Deficit woes: Ahoy Liberals, that sinking feeling is the Canadian economy taking on water

TD Bank forecast today that Trudeau deficits could hit hit a whopping 150 billion dollars over 5 years, causing a double-take reaction from the financial community. In the 2015 election campaign the Trudeau Liberals had originally promised “modest” deficits of 10 billion dollars a year over 3 years. This promise, like so many others, appears to now be a mere afterthought.

In the face of criticism over increased spending with slowing economic growth, the Liberal argument spun by Finance Minister Bill Morneau et al. is that “a less ambitious government might see these conditions as a reason to hide, to make cuts or to be overly cautious.”

In reality, the Prime Minister and Finance Minister seemingly appear to be unable to say “no” to any interest group with their hand out.

The Canadian economy is not growing as quickly as we would like it to, and there are many challenges facing our resource sector. There is a case to be made for spending money as a means to stimulate the economy – the previous administration took on significant amounts of debt as a means to combat the global economic crisis we faced in 2008. However, this is 2016 and global conditions are not what they were in 2008, and Liberal spending is not expected to generate enough growth to pay for itself.

Journalist David Akin reported that the spending done by the Trudeau Liberals in their first 100 days in office was not only greater than what was spent by the previous Government, but that the bulk of Liberal checks handed out were for projects outside of Canada.

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It remains to be seen how this outside spending will assist Canadians trying to make ends meet. Excessive spending that doesn’t help stimulate our economy will only snowball our ever increasing national debt – interest rates are at a low point today, but these rates will eventually increase, making the debt mountain grow ever higher and more expensive. The Government needs to show some restraint and realize that spending money for the sake of spending money doesn’t always generate growth in the economy. Excessive spending points to eventual Liberal tax increases as a means to increase revenue – a death sentence for Canadian wallets everywhere.

Even future spending within Canada appears as if it will be disproportionate beneficial to some and not others. Much of the infrastructure spending chatter touted by the Liberals seems to have a focus on Canada’s urban centers. Little has been mentioned for rural Canada, and areas like Pontiac (QC) appear to be left out in the cold for now.

The Liberal decision to continue moving forward with unrestrained spending in the face of shrinking revenue has already made many Canadians uneasy. Patience and restraint are virtues that are often in short supply when Governments are flying high in the polls, as this one is. With financial challenges mounting, these virtues are needed more than ever. Otherwise, taxpayers are apt to be swept overboard for a generation.

Morneau quote obtained here:
http://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/morneau-deficit-wherry-1.3459194