Leading by example

The Prime Minister raised the issue of MP pensions in his interview with the CBC earlier this week, but, as the Finance Minister has noted, it is beyond the official purview of the government. Today the Globe reports that support for the reforms will come from the Conservative caucus. Tony Clement meanwhile muses of leading by example.

“I think you’ve got to be fair to the employee [the MP] but you also have to be fair to the taxpayer,” he told CTV’s Don Martin. “We are very cognizant of that.”

He added that no decisions have been made and that already the government is leading by example as MP and cabinet-minister salaries have been frozen this year. MPs earn $157,000 a year; cabinet ministers make $233,247 and the Prime Minister earns $315,000.

Granted, whatever they are paid, those cabinet ministers presently comprise the second-largest ministry and second-largest cabinet in history—the minister now seven larger and the cabinet now 12 larger than the groups Mr. Harper presented upon first taking office. Back then, one of Mr. Harper’s advisors enthused that reducing the cabinet from 39 (as it was under Paul Martin) to 27 would save $15 to $20 million per year. Presumably, reducing it from 39 (as it now is under Mr. Harper) to 27 would save roughly the same amount now.

Looking for more?

Get the Best of Maclean's sent straight to your inbox. Sign up for news, commentary and analysis.