Taxpayers call on Furey to reject proposed MHA pay increase

Author: Jay Goldberg 2024/04/02

The Canadian Taxpayers Federation is calling on the Furey government to reject a proposal to increase pay for Members of the House of Assembly by nearly $25,000.

“At a time when far too many Newfoundlanders and Labradorians are barely scraping by, increasing pay for MHAs by more than two grand a month is completely out of touch with the realities facing their constituents,” said CTF Interim Atlantic Director Jay Goldberg. “The Furey government should be looking at ways to save taxpayers money, not at further padding politicians’ pockets.”

A report commissioned by the House of Assembly was released last week and recommends, among other things, raising the base salary for MHAs from $95,357 to $120,000. That would make pay for Newfoundland and Labrador MHAs by far the highest in Atlantic Canada and the third highest in the country.

The report is also recommending major salary increases for the speaker, deputy speaker, opposition leaders and MHAs holding other legislative positions.

The median income in Newfoundland and Labrador is approximately $59,000. The report’s suggested new pay level of $120,000 would mean MHAs would be paid more than double the average worker in Newfoundland and Labrador.

“Politicians shouldn’t be looking for paycheques that are double what their average constituent makes,” said Goldberg. “MHAs have to categorically reject this ridiculously flawed report.”

There is recent precedent for politicians rejecting pay hikes. Nova Scotia Premier Tim Houston cancelled a scheduled MLA pay hike last year.

“Houston showed leadership last year by cancelling a proposed pay hike for MLAs and Furey should follow his lead,” said Goldberg. “A massive politician pay hike must be taken off the table.”

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