Thursday, Feb. 18, 2021
Toronto, ON: The Canadian Taxpayers Federation is once again calling on Ontario politicians to reduce the cost of politician and government employee pay amidst the devastating job numbers released today by the Financial Accountability Office (FAO) in its 2020 labour market report.
“Yesterday, the Ontario government enjoyed a good laugh at the mere suggestion that politicians take a pay cut to show solidarity with struggling taxpayers,” said Jasmine Moulton, Ontario Director for the Canadian Taxpayers Federation. “The devastating job numbers released today show it’s time this government stopped laughing and helped taxpayers shoulder the burden instead.”
The FAO’s report, entitled Ontario’s Labour Market in 2020, stated that 2020 marks “the largest annual loss of employment on record” for the province. The report also stated that Ontario suffered a decline in employment of 4.8 per cent in 2020 or 355,300 jobs. The unemployment rate jumped to 9.6 per cent. Accounting for those who worked fewer hours, the total number of jobs affected rose to 765,340, or one in 10 jobs.
Yesterday, the Ford government moved a unanimous consent motion to reduce the salary of a single former PC MPP, Roman Baber, after he put forth a motion calling on all politicians to take a pay cut.
“The Ontario government’s pettiness from yesterday looks particularly callous in light of today’s report on job numbers,” said Moulton. “This report puts a human face on the suffering that thousands of Ontario families have endured, so it’s time this government exchange its laughter for leadership and help taxpayers to carry the burden.”
The Canadian Taxpayers Federation has been calling on politicians to take pay cuts since the start of the pandemic to show solidarity with struggling taxpayers. More significantly, taking a pay cut would provide politicians with the moral authority to ask Ontario’s 1.3 million government employees to do the same.
The cost of government employee compensation is Ontario’s largest operational expense every year, representing about 50 per cent of spending – or $72 billion – in 2019. Ontario government employees receive over 10 per cent more than comparable employees working outside of government, in addition to better pensions and earlier retirement.
Ontario Director, Canadian Taxpayers Federation