Premier: Government won’t accept MLA pay raise recommendation

Premier Tim Houston. (Dagley Media photo)

HALIFAX: Nova Scotia premier Tim Houston said a recommendation from an independent panel looking into MLAs pay will not be accepted.

In a release, Houston said he has written to the Speaker of the House of Assembly asking him to reconvene the legislature to deal with the recommendations of the MLA remuneration review panel which were released July 19.

Houston said he respects the work of the panel, but the government will not be accepting its recommendations.

“When inflation is at a 40-year high, gas prices are at historic levels and many hard-working Nova Scotians are struggling to make ends meet, it is not the time to increase the pay of MLAs,” said Houston. “As soon as I learned about the proposed raise, I took immediate action to stop it.”

Colchester North MLA Tom Taggart said in a separate release that there was only one way for Liberal and NDP MLAs to show Nova Scotians they don’t want a 12 per cent raise: immediately pass the bill to stop the raise.

This morning, Houson said PC MLAs cannot accept the wage hike proposed by the MLA Remuneration Review Panel while so many Nova Scotians are struggling with skyrocketing prices. 

Taggart said he fully supports Premier Houston’s request of the Speaker to reconvene the Legislature next Tuesday to terminate this mandatory raise. 

“With the cost of everything increasing, if any MLA thinks now is an appropriate time to give ourselves a raise, they are out of touch,” MLA Taggart said.

“Next week, all MLAs have a chance to tell Nova Scotians quickly and clearly that an MLA pay hike simply isn’t appropriate.”

The Premier has asked the Speaker to reconvene the legislature so the government can table amendments to the House of Assembly Act that will prevent the MLA pay increase recommended by the independent panel.