We need to come up with a better way to decide how much politicians are paid and if and when their pay is adjusted.
Nova Scotia MLAs have just recently overridden the binding recommendation of an independent commission that would have given them large raises. With so many families just barely scraping by as they try to keep up with rising prices, this hardly seems the appropriate time for politicians to accept large increases. The optics would be terrible!
Ironically, it was the optics of politicians determining their own pay and raises that prompted the creation of the independent commission with its binding recommendations. The whole idea was to take the decision out of the politicians’ hands, effectively depoliticizing the process. It’s now been re-politicized
Now that it has been, the politicians should assume full responsibility for all forms of their remuneration and be held wholly accountable.
How about this? During election campaigns, each party should be required to submit, as part of its platform, a proposed pay scale for the next term: base wages for MLAs, top-ups for ministers and the premier, committee fees and pension contributions. There might well be performance bonuses paid when budgets are balanced and other promises are kept. And the successful campaign proposal, when approved by the electorate, would then be binding on the party that wins power. That way the voters can decide what they’re willing to pay before choosing the politicians they want. And the people considering running for office can decide whether they’re prepared to accept what’s offered.
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