Just how long should we be willing to keep MLAs in the style to which they have grown accustomed? This is the question posed by AIMS Director of Research Don McIver in this commentary on Nova Scotia’s MLA pension entitlement. His answer is that you can not determine an appropriate pension structure for MLAs without first answering two questions: what is their total compensation package (pension, pay and perks) and how much can Nova Scotians afford?
MLAs are essentially contract employees argues McIver—and as such both individuals running for office and Nova Scotia taxpayers should be entitled to know before-hand what their services are going to cost. Present compensation schemes not only offer generous pay and perks, but also provide substantial pensions that may remunerate MLAs for many more years than their often fleeting attachment to the legislature. Five years of service can, as it were, result in twenty-five, or more, years of compensation.
Till the End of Time recommends eliminating MLA pensions or, at least, replacing them with fixed-contribution plans or an RRSP allowance.
Click here to read the full commentary.