- Binding advice from an independent panel would have been the first raise in a decade.
- Nova Scotia Premier Tim Houston says recalling the legislature for a rare summer sitting was the best way to deal with a pending income raise MLAs were to accept.
Nova Scotia politicians from all three political groups at Province House decided that now was not the time for their pay to rise. Still, they debated on Tuesday whether an emergency recall of the legislature was required to do something about it.
MLAs voted unanimously in approval of the final reading of Bill 185 on Tuesday, a bill that stops a pending pay raise of 12.6 percent and lowers the premier’s earnings by approximately $11,200. The pay increase, the first in nearly a decade, was a binding offer from an independent panel charged with reviewing MLA remuneration.
Not long after the panel released its notice to the public last month, Premier Tim Houston recognized the legislature for a rare summer sitting during which amendments to the House of Assembly Act were introduced to thwart the raise and decrease the premier’s pay.
On Tuesday, as he’s done before, Houston stated it’s not fair for MLAs to get a raise when inflation is at a decade high and people are struggling with the expense of living. MLAs make approximately $89,000.
Cabinet ministers, opposition leaders, the Speaker and deputy speakers of the House, and the premier got more compensation.
“It was essential to us that the 12 percent pay raise get stopped,” Houston told journalists at Province House. “We’ve done the right thing on the premier’s compensation, too.”
He denied the idea that the problem could have been handled another way.
However, the panel’s report notes that MLAs who didn’t want a raise could return the funds to the government or donate it to charity.
Source – CBC News