Wednesday, March 30, 2005

SaskParty Supports NDP

March 30, 2005

Pondering politics!

How different is the SaskParty from the NDP? They agree with the NDP on MLA pay increases and they agree with the NDP that additional provincial money is unnecessary for Saskatchewan farmers.

On Pay Increases - Last year the MLA’s displayed an unusual characteristic of leadership in denying themselves a pay increase when they waived their mandated pay increase on the basis the province was in tough financially. This year they are taking the increase they waived last year (2.3%) plus this years 2.2% increase to provide MLA’s with a base salary of $66,431 per year, not to mention their expense allowances. They call it a cost of living increase. Have you received a cost of living increase? This is not a bad salary for a job that requires no qualifications other than the ability or luck to get elected. As a former MLA I can tell you that, for the most part, it is one of the easiest jobs in the province.

The MLA’s are not looking good on this one as they continue to hold government employees accountable to a zero, one and one pay increase formula. So much for leadership from our elected officials! The SaskParty supports the NDP on these pay increases. Where is the difference?

On Agriculture – Saskatchewan producers are in line for a possible 250 to 300 million of a $1 billion federal Liberal government farm aid package announced yesterday. Ralph Goodale delivers again. The federal Agriculture Minister, Andy Mitchell has suggested the Saskatchewan NDP government throw in their contribution to keep with the traditional 60-40 federal-provincial split on agriculture programs. This could possibly add an additional $180 million to support for Saskatchewan farmers. Saskatchewan’s Agriculture Minister, Mark Wartman, is apparently not up to the challenge and his position received support from the Saskatchewan Party Opposition. Where is the difference? Where is the leadership?

Larry Birkbeck