Premier Kenney’s salary cut by 10%, MLAs 5%

EDMONTON – Alberta politicians are taking a five per cent pay cut, and Premier Jason Kenney will now be taking home 10 per cent less.

The decision was made unanimously by an all-party committee that sets pay for elected members of the legislature.

The pay cut was a campaign pledge made by Kenney before his United Conservatives won a majority government in April.

“Out-of-control spending by the previous government put Alberta on track for $100 billion in debt, jeopardizing the future of public services. We were elected with a mandate to be fiscally responsible, and that has to start at the top. Today’s decision is about leadership by example,” Kenney said in a release.

The Opposition NDP members on the committee voted for the pay cut as the right thing to do. But they say it’s a cynical move by Kenney designed to give his government some cover when they eventually try to legislate pay cuts to public sector workers.

The changes mean that Kenney now takes home about $186,000 a year, while cabinet members get $181,000 and rank-and-file legislature members get $121,000.

The Canadian Taxpayers Federation is applauding the pay cuts.

“Premier Jason Kenney and Alberta MLAs deserve a lot of credit for following through on their campaign promise and cutting their own pay,” said Franco Terrazzano, Alberta Director for the CTF. “Today’s decision shows strong leadership from the top and a willingness to share in the tough economic times and the cuts needed to get the province’s fiscal house in order.”