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Today's Big Story

MLAs Sitting Pretty

Panel recommends 29 percent pay hike.

By David Beers 1 May 2007 | TheTyee.ca

David Beers is founding editor of The Tyee.

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Based on a report released yesterday, British Columbia’s MLAs must be among the most underpaid people around. A government appointed panel would fix that injustice by handing MLAs a 29-per-cent increase in basic salary, taking them to $98,000. The premier would get a 54-per-cent rise in salary to $186,200 annually.

Never mind that B.C.’s MLAs sit fewer days in the legislature than they have since 1972, as Will McMartin has pointed out. The report wants them to have another $19,000 per year, plus other expenses, so as to maintain a permanent abode in or around Victoria.

The panelists defining these necessities are highly affluent, as former NDP MLA David Schreck notes. In his blog he sifts the report, toting up perk on top of perk, trumpeting a call to action: “It's not too late. If you find the proposed increases as outrageous as I do, let your MLA know.

Short of a citizens’ revolt, New Democrat MLAs stand to gain as well as BC Liberals, while not obviously dirtying their hands while being seen to grasp, the optics that did them in last time.

British Columbians earning minimum wage, meanwhile, await word on whether the BC Liberals in control of their legislature will see fit to end a six year freeze on their rate of pay and grant them a raise.  [Tyee]

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