Progressive Conservative leader Jamie Baillie says Nova Scotia’s politicians should do the same when the Legislature opens next week. Baillie has been calling for an end to the current MLA pension plan since he announced his intention to seek public office in 2010.
The NDP and Liberals were satisfied with a pension panel report that allows MLA pensions to build up 75 per cent faster than other government employees. Baillie says that is unacceptable when you consider the NDP cut classrooms and hospitals, and forced Nova Scotians to pay $1,000 more each in higher HST.
“Nova Scotians expect leadership to start at the top,” said Baillie. “While too many Nova Scotians are struggling to pay the bills, some of their political leaders want to exempt themselves from the restraint they ask of others. These million dollar pension plans are dinosaurs. They must go.”
Baillie said a PC government will replace the MLA pension plan with one that is no better than dollar-for-dollar pension matching. At a conference last June, he told all PC Party candidates seeking election to expect this change.
Premier Darrell Dexter is now eligible for an annual pension of $119,378. When asked if he “deserves” this special pension said: “Of course. I mean I work hard, and I think people understand that, and I think most people who work for pensions believe they deserve them.” The Chronicle Herald, November 3, 2011
Liberal leader Stephen McNeil can collect an annual pension of almost $50,000 a year at 55 – a value of $1 million from age 55-75. McNeil on the MLA pension panel’s report that allows MLA pensions to build up 75 per cent faster than public sector employees: “We’re prepared to accept it and move on.” The Chronicle Herald, November 3, 2011
Baillie said the changes didn’t go far enough. When Baillie challenged McNeil on accepting the expensive MLA pensions, McNeil defended the plan saying Baillie was “…degrading the entire House of Assembly and the institution of government” by criticizing it.