The Canadian Taxpayers Federation has taken aim at MPs for a pay raise expected to take effect April 1.
The organization says that it is irresponsible for members of parliament to do so, while so many Canadians are suffering during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Our MPs should know that a pandemic and severe economic downturn is the worst possible time to be padding their pockets with a pay hike,” said Franco Terrazzano, the CTF’s Alberta director.
“Millions of Canadians have been struggling with COVID-19 for more than a year now, so it’s long past time for our MPs to get off their butts and put an end to their automatic pay increases.”
According to a CTF, basic MP salary is $182,600, while ministers receive $269,800 and the prime minister receives $365,200 annually.
MPs are eligible for raises each year on April 1, based on the average annual increase in private-sector union contracts with corporations that have more than 500 employees.
The CTF estimates each MP will receive an extra $3,200, while ministers will receive an extra $4,700 and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau will receive an extra $6,400, based on contract data published by the government of Canada.
The federal government stopped the automatic pay raises between 2010 and 2013 in response to the 2008-09 recession. Last year, some MPs, as well as the prime minister donated their raise to charities.
“This shouldn’t be rocket science: our MPs should be able to figure out a way to stop the automatic pay hikes during a severe economic downturn,” said Terrazzano. “This second MP pay raise during COVID-19 is a slap in the face to the many taxpayers who have taken a pay cut, lost their job or their business.”