Don't expect rich MLA pension: Baillie tells candidates - Says Nova Scotians expect leadership to start at the top
PC leader Jamie Baillie says a government led by his Progressive Conservatives will end the rich pension benefits enjoyed exclusively by Nova Scotia’s Members of the Legislature.
"Nova Scotians expect leadership to start at the top," said Baillie. He told the gathered crowd of PC Party candidates, candidates for nomination and campaign team members that a PC government will end the hypocrisy of Nova Scotia’s leaders exempting themselves from hardship while families across the province are struggling to make ends meet.
"Nova Scotians are so tired of leaders who expect people to 'do as they say, not as they do'. They are fed up with the empty calls for sacrifice and fed up with the hypocrisy," said Baillie. "A PC government will right this wrong. We will scrap the rich MLA pension."
Nova Scotia Members of the Legislature enjoy pension benefits that are backstopped by the taxpayers, protected from meltdowns in the markets and accrue at a rate beyond what Canada Revenue Agency legally allows. For every dollar invested by an MLA, the taxpayer contributes six dollars.
Baillie said the NDP had the chance to change the MLA pension plan to an "ordinary plan" that Nova Scotians can relate to, but instead they managed only small "tweaks" that preserve extraordinary benefits.
"The NDP have forced Nova Scotians to do with less in our classrooms and hospitals. They have forced Nova Scotians to pay $1,000 more in higher HST and stood by as power rates skyrocket," said Baillie. "But the Premier and his cabinet sit back and exempt themselves from the restraint they ask of others."
Baillie said a PC government will instruct a citizen’s panel to design and oversee all MLA pay and benefits and will ask them to aim for nothing better than dollar-for-dollar pension matching.
Baillie delivered the speech to 140 attendees at a PC Party campaign planning day at the Dartmouth Waterfront Campus of the NSCC. The former President and CEO of Credit Union Atlantic, Baillie first announced his intention to seek the leadership of the PC Party at the NSCC on June 7, 2010.