My position on MP pensions
Today I issued a press release on my position regarding reforming MP pensions. In addition, in Question Period today, Liberal Party House leader, MP Marc Garneau, said that the Liberal Party would be willing to fast-track legislation to reform MP pensions. He re-iterated the call to have a stand-alone vote on MP pensions so that every MP’s vote will be known. Sadly, Treasury Board President, Conservative MP Tony Clement, said that there would be no stand-alone bill on MP pensions.
My press release:
Hsu Calls for Decisive Action on MP Pension Reform
“No Omnibus Bill, No Political Games”
Ted Hsu, MP for Kingston and the Islands, today called on his colleagues in the House of Commons to take immediate, specific action on reform of their own pensions.
“While far too many Canadians are struggling to find a job, let alone hang on to comfortable pensions, it is unfair for MPs to continue to accept public money for pensions that are far more generous than the pensions that are available to most workers in the private sector,” Hsu said.
“Families are hurting as jobs and benefits are being cut at all levels of government and at many businesses. We must show leadership in this time of austerity, and we can start by aligning our own pensions with what is happening in the real world.”
Hsu is concerned that this important issue will become mired in political gamesmanship.
“I insist that the House act quickly on this issue as a single, stand-alone bill,” he said. “The Harper Conservatives want to make MP pension reform part of another omnibus budget bill that is loaded with all matter of controversial, unrelated subjects, like the disastrous Bill C-38 that the government forced on us in June.
“There is no reason to treat reform of our pensions in that manner. Every MP of every party should have the guts to stand up and make a recorded vote on this issue, by itself. It’s urgent, it’s fair and it’s the decent thing to do.
“A true leader must accept personal sacrifices that he or she demands of others. Therefore, I also call on Mr. Harper to eliminate his own special “prime minister’s allowance” – a yearly bonus of more than $100,000 – that he is slated to receive when he turns 65. This is on top of the generous pension that he, and all of us, are scheduled to receive after serving as members of Parliament.
“The very least that the Canadian people have a right to expect is that all of us in Parliament, including the Prime Minister, vote clearly and unequivocally on the size and terms of our own pensions. There should be no tricks, no political gimmicks, just a straight vote on this single issue.”
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