EDMONTON, AB (October 30, 2012): Wildrose Official Opposition Leader Danielle Smith and Calgary-Fish Creek MLA Heather Forsyth will submit a joint motion to the Legislature’s Members’ Services Committee calling for a moratorium on discussions to increase MLA pay and benefits until Alberta is back into budget balance.
The Committee will meet next week to discuss the PC government’s proposal to increase the amount of money taxpayers contribute to MLA RRSPs by roughly $1,000 a month. The hike works out to be about a 8% salary increase. Smith and Forsyth will submit the motion for debate at the Nov. 6 meeting. “With a ballooning budget deficit and the PCs planning on going back into debt, this is not the time for MLAs to be helping themselves to pay hikes,” Smith said. “We hope common sense and respect for taxpayers will prevail next week when the committee meets to discuss the issue.” Smith and Forsyth voted against the RRSP hike put on the table by PC Whip Steve Young and supported by other PC committee members at the committee’s last meeting on Oct. 19. “No Albertan voted for us so we could come to Edmonton right after the election and give ourselves a pay hike,” Forsyth said. “MLAs should be focused on improving health care and balancing the budget before we even think about our own paychecks.”