Nearly half of Canadian MPs commit to donate their April 1 pay hike

Nearly half of Canadian MPs commit to donate their April 1 pay hike

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, Opposition Leader Andrew Scheer and House of Commons Speaker Anthony Rota all agreed to give away their 2020 pay rise.

By Robert Frank

The Canadian Taxpayers Federation has elicited a commitment from 160 of Canada’s 338 Members of Parliament to give to charity the automatic pay increase that they received, April 1.

The group canvassed all MPs at least three times between the end of March, just before the 2.1 percent pay raise kicked in, and April 13. The hike boosted the parliamentarians’ base pay by more than $3,750 to $182,656 a year.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, Opposition Leader Andrew Scheer and House of Commons Speaker Anthony Rota—who earn more than Members of Parliament do—all agreed to give away their 2020 pay rise. Photo: Adam Scotti (Prime Minister’s Office)

“We’re pleased to see that half the Members of Parliament realize that it looks pretty bad to take a pay hike in this environment,” Canadian Taxpayers Federation federal director Aaron Wudrick told newscoverage.org in an interview.

“It’s a way to show leadership. Right now, millions and millions of Canadians are struggling. Politicians need to demonstrate that they’re not completely inoculated from what everyone else is going through,” Canadian Taxpayers Federation federal director Aaron Wurdrick told newscoverage.org

While he welcomed their leadership by example, Wudrick wants Canada’s parliamentarians to go further.

“This is really just a first step. We have seen politicians around the world cut their pay,” he observed. “New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern just cut her pay by 20 percent for six months. Politicians in Japan and India [have taken cuts of] 20 percent and 30 percent for the next year. Our politicians need to take a serious look at that.”

“It will put them in a good position,’ Wudrick suggested. “Inevitably, there will have to be some efficiencies in government spending overall and the sooner that they demonstrate that they are willing to do something themselves, the easier it will be to make the case to the broader government sector.”

Canadian Members of Parliament who will donate their pay hike to charity.
Source: Canadian Taxpayers Federation
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