Friday, May 01, 2009

BC MLA perks hurt taxpayers

B.C. politicians justified their huge pay increase and brought back gold-plated pensions in 2007 declaring those recommendations were from an independent panel, had nothing to do with them, were out of their hands, but when one of the panel's recommendations didn't suite them, the politicians changed it and gave themselves a benefit that few taxpayers, the people on the hook for the bill, can get.

The panel recommended a time limit on pension contributions if a politician went on long-term disability while in office and gave one-term politicians a small pension, still more than what most other people get, but the politicians said they deserved better and passed, with no debate, sneaking in on the last line of the pay-hike legislation, a change that forces the taxpayer to contribute to politician's gold-plated pension for as long as the politician is on long-term disability.

This means instead of a pension of about $28,000 per year at age 65, politicians could get a pension of $70,000 per year at age 65.

No one begrudges a person a disability pension, but politicians have left taxpayers on the hook to pick up what could become a massive tab over time.

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