22 , 2009
Lonely Campbell Liberals
the 49 MLAs in the Liberal caucus, only 4 are likely to receive
"only" the base salary of $98,000 (plus indexing);
the rest will get additional pay according to their position.
in section 4 of the Members'
Remuneration and Pensions Act shows that the Premier
receives an additional 90% of base pay, a cabinet minister
with portfolio 50%, the Speaker 50%, a cabinet minister without
portfolio and the Deputy Speaker 35%, the Whip and the caucus
chair 20% , the Deputy Whip, parliamentary secretaries and
the chairs of select, select standing or special committees
15% and deputy chairs 10%. In the last legislature there were
legislative committees. With the Premier, 20 full cabinet
ministers, 4 ministers of state, 6
parliamentary secretaries and various functionaries, there's
extra lolly for almost all of the government caucus. The four
who are left out must wonder why!
of the Opposition also reap extra rewards: the Leader 50%,
the Assistant Deputy Speaker 35%, the House Leader, Whip and
caucus chair 20%, Deputy Whip and chair of Public Accounts
15%, deputy chair of legislative committees 10%. If there
are 8 legislative committees, in addition to Public Accounts,
this means that 15 of the 35 members of the Opposition get
that gave MLAs a 29% pay increase, and the Premier 54%,
provided for basic compensation of $98,000 per year effective
April 1, 2007 and automatic indexing effective every April
Fools' Day thereafter "by the percentage increase of
the consumer price index, if any, for the 12-month period
ending on December 31 of the previous year." The MLA's
pay is supposed to be made available on the legislative website,
but it merely provides a link to the Public Accounts (always
out of date). The Campbell government undermined even the
disclosure provisions in the legislation (section 2(4)), by
Public Accounts rather than providing the updated "basic
compensation". The Canada CPI for December 2007 was 112.0,
and for December 2008 it was 113.3, so effective April 1,
2009, MLAs basic compensation increased to $99,137.
of legislative committees is theoretically up to the legislature,
but in reality, like everything else in government, it is
dictated by the Premier. B.C.'s 39th Parliament will sit for
the first time on August 25th; sometime after that we will
learn how many legislative committees Premier Campbell will
allow the legislature to establish and what terms of reference
will be granted to each. If past practice is any indication,
there will be as many committees as is necessary to keep the
backbench occupied and out of trouble, without granting MLAs
any real authority.
to the number of committees increasing or decreasing from
its previous base, it looks like independent Vicki Huntington
will be joined by just four government MLAs and 20 New Democrats
in receiving no more than the base salary of just under $100,000.
That "base" is a lot more than the typical
family incomes of those the MLAs represent.