March 20, 2017 7:51 pm

Legislation introduced to cut the pay of Sask. MLAs

Economy Minister Jeremy Harrison tabled legislation to reduce MLA pay by 3.5 per cent Monday.

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While both the Saskatchewan Party and NDP MLAs agree that their pay should be cut, debate still exists on how to get there.

Economy Minister Jeremy Harrison tabled a bill Monday, to reduce pay for MLA’s and all associated bonuses by 3.5 per cent.

This comes after the NDP boycotted a Board of Internal Economy meeting. The meeting would allow the government to take the cut without the need for new legislation.

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READ MORE: NDP MLAs block pay reduction, argue it’s not a big enough cut

The NDP did not attend the meeting because they want to see a bigger government cut, and not give the impression they’re supporting a 3.5 per cent compensation reduction across the public sector.

Their pitch is for a 20 per cent pay reduction on ministerial bonuses and five fewer MLAs in the next provincial election.

“We’ve said that we’re looking for 3.5 per cent across government in compensation. That’s the reason why it’s 3.5 per cent for MLA’s and those with additional duties as well,” Harrison said.

Harrison attempted to rush through the pay cut bill, but was blocked by the Opposition.

NDP Caucus Chair David Forbes said they’re delaying the bill in an effort to get cabinet to take a bigger pay cut.

“We need to see this cabinet be held accountable for the mess that we’re in. They need to take a 20 per cent cut in their bonuses and see the reduction of five MLAs,” Forbes said.

“This bill here really avoids taking responsibility for the mess this province is in.”

Harrison said that once the pay reduction bill passes it will be retroactive, and cut all MLA pay by 3.5 per cent as of April 1, 2017.

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