Da Legal Stuff...

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Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Vive le Canada

There has been a lot of news coverage lately about the alleged abuse of expense accounts by some MHA’s in Newfoundland and Labrador. A terrible thing indeed, but on a positive note, at least the supposed fraud seems to have been limited to a just few members of the House, unlike the outright theft taking place in Ottawa these days.

Just before leaving for a months of fun in the sun, members of the House of Commons decided to pad their wallets once again at our expense. In 2001 the House eliminated the tax free expense accounts that had been used up to that point in time and decided instead to raise the base pay of MPs.

When the expense accounts were done away with, an MP’s base pay was approximately $65,000 per year. This amount was increased to $130,000 and has since risen to nearly $150,000. Now, after seeing their base pay rise by $85,000 in just 5 years, MPs have determined that they can’t survive on what they are making and have decided to re-introduce expense allowances on top of their new wealth.

So what is it costing you to have your MP show up for the occasional vote or speak in the House of Commons (if they bother to show up at all)?

The tab includes:
Base pay: $147,700 per year + additional pay for anyone who is a minister, member of a committee, etc. (basically if you do anything other than get yourself elected the amount begins to climb steadily.)

Ottawa Living Expenses: $24,000 per year

Meals and Incidentals: $75.40 per day

Mileage: .47 cents a kilometer

Travel: 64 free return-trip airline tickets a year (I'll bet you an MP's salary that they aren’t coach tickets either).

The overall cost of the constituency allowance scandal in Newfoundland and Labrador, at least as far as can be determined at this point, appears to be in the neighborhood of $1 million. Nothing to sneeze at by any means but when you consider that with over 300 MPs in Ottawa milking the system for the items outlined above, $1 million is just one drop in a very large bucket.

Either way you slice it somebody is getting the shaft and I can bet you know who that is. Remember this next April when tax time rolls around. Better yet, when the next election call is made, think about what marking your X really means to the average Canadian’s wallet.

Vive le Canada!!!


Anonymous said...

Try to make the local situation sound better by comparing it to somewhere else.


No one really cares except for locally anyway....just a bunch of dumb Newfies who got caught stealing money.

MrChills said...

ALL governments are corrupt, end of story.

Anyone who actually types the word Puhlease has no room to call anyone dumb.