Other officials in New Zealand’s national government and public sector were also facing a pay cut.
READ MORE: New Zealand PM Jacinda Ardern and ministers agree to 20% pay cut in coronavirus solidarity
A month later, Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison, one of the highest paid national leaders in the world, announced that neither he nor his cabinet would absorb a pay cut. Instead, a national wage freeze for the Australian civil service, enacted in April for six months, would remain in place.
The story continues under the ad
Canadians took their turn and offered a national opinion in May for an Angus Reid Forum poll, with around two-thirds urging MPs to take a pandemic-related pay cut and 43% strongly agreeing with that feeling.
This has proven to be an option that is not at stake with the elected members of our national government.
Looking ahead to next week’s throne speech
Base salaries for MPs remain sacrosanct, at least at their 2019 level of $ 178,900, as all around them Canadians have suffered and continue to suffer financial hardship. As jobs are being lost and the future outlook remains uncertain for the average person, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is pocketing about double the earnings of a backbench member of his caucus. Cabinet ministers and opposition party leaders are also significantly distancing the aforementioned parliamentary gulag backbench worker.
Chinese pharmaceutical leak infects thousands with bacterial disease
Public Health Agency of Canada President resigns as coronavirus cases rise
The small business sector, the largest national employer group, is particularly affected. According to the Canadian Federation of Independent Business, at least 55,000 – and possibly up to 218,000 – small businesses could slide headlong into permanent closure.
To be sure, many MPs and party leaders have offered what amounts to a token cut in dollars up for grabs by pledging to redirect their automatic April 1, 2020 annual salary increases to charity. For a member earning a base salary which means $ 3,756.90 will be linked to charities.
READ MORE: Trudeau, Scheer among MPs to give charities a pay rise amid coronavirus
It is not necessarily easy, but hardly impossible for the deputies to refuse a percentage of remuneration. As a group, they should introduce and support legislative changes to their salary structure. This did not happen.
It would only seem appropriate for extremely well paid MPs, whose incomes are supplemented by a gold-plated pension plan, to participate in a publicly recorded vote on the start and continuation of the process of cutting their wages – and why not compliant to the precedent set by their New Zealand and Indian counterparts?
Such a move would be greeted with popular national approval.
Roy Green is the host of the Roy Green Show on the Global News Radio network.
Hear the latest news from the Roy Green Show
Subscribe to the Roy Green Show podcast now on Apple Podcast or Google Play
Show link »
© 2020 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.