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Bringing home the bacon
If you have decided a minimum wage job isn’t in your future and you would instead prefer a six-figure salary, consider provincial politics.
As part of the B.C. Legislative Assembly's ongoing reporting of MLA expenses, information concerning the salaries of individual MLAs, including cabinet ministers, was posted (http://www.leg.bc.ca/mla/remuneration/index.htm) and all 85 politicians are over the $100,000 mark.
Effective April 1, 2009, the annual basic compensation each MLA receives is $101,859—established under the Members' Remuneration and Pensions Act (MRPA).
In October 2013, additional information on members’ remuneration had been posted to fulfill a commitment made by the all-party Legislative Assembly Management Committee to public disclosure, revealing the amounts paid in the period April 1, 2013 to Sept. 30, 2013.
And, although the Kootenay and Boundary MLAs aren’t breaking the bank, they have, understandably, racked up some big travel allowances.
Kootenay West MLA Katrine Conroy had racked up $14,575 for the six-month period for travel costs.
The NDP Opposition critic for Seniors and Seniors’ Health, the Columbia River Treaty and Columbia Power had a $6,593 capital city living allowance, with a six-month base compensation of $51,069.
The Boundary Similkameen’s Linda Larson Liberal earned a base of $39,069 so far, with a total compensation of $43,799, along with $12,644 in travel costs.
The Liberal Party member is the Parliamentary secretary to the minister of Health for Seniors, and a member of the Cabinet Committee on Secure Tomorrow. She is also a member of the Select Standing Committees on Health and Legislative Initiatives.
Nelson-Creston NDP MLA Michelle Mungall earned a base six-month compensation of $51,069 in serving as Opposition critic for Social Development. She was also paid $26,231 for her travel costs and capital city living allowance.
Kootenay East’s Bill Bennett (Liberal) received a base compensation of $51,069 with an extra $20,427 in executive salary as the minister of Energy and Mines and Minister Responsible for Core Review.
He also chairs the Cabinet Working Group on Core Review. He is a member of the Priorities and Planning Committee, the Environment and Land Use Committee, and the Cabinet Working Group on Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG).
Bennett received a capital city living allowance of $7,189, incurred travel costs of $20,321 and an allowance as chair of the committee for $6,865.
Since the Members’ Remuneration and Pensions Act came into force in 2007, an MLA’s basic compensation, additional salary and pension plan have been publicly accessible on the Legislative Assembly website.
The Act stipulates that basic compensation be adjusted April 1 of each year by the percentage increase of the BC Consumer Price Index.
Legislative amendments adopted since 2010 have frozen basic compensation with respect to fiscal years.
An MLA who holds a ministerial or parliamentary office receives an additional salary that corresponds to a percentage of the basic compensation. A minister receives 50 per cent of basic compensation, or $50,929.50.