Salary of members of parliament: an independent committee, but with what power?

Salaire des députés: un comité indépendant, mais avec quel pouvoir?

The members of the provincial parliament of Québec receive an annual base salary of 95 704 $.

December 9, 2019 19: 13

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Salary of members of parliament: an independent committee, but with what power?

Salaire des députés: un comité indépendant, mais avec quel pouvoir?

Olivier Bossé

The Sun

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The deputies of the parliament of Québec agree to appoint an independent committee that will look into their future working conditions, including salary. But the elected officials fail to decide whether they will be forced to listen to this committee!

“A consensus emerging as to the enforceability of the recommendations of an independent committee, the Office of the national Assembly will continue its discussions,” concludes the report on the independent process of determination of the conditions of labour mps tabled last Thursday by the president of the national Assembly, François Paradis.

Mr. Paradis is also the president of the Office of the national Assembly (BAN), a body composed of deputies selected by their peers and responsible for establishing the administrative rules of the Assembly. The group includes 11 elected, six from government (CAQ) and five from the opposition (3 of the Quebec liberal Party, 1 of Québec solidaire, 1 of the Parti quebecois).

At the parliamentary session of the spring, on the 6th of June, the deputies had voted an increase in their annual allowance for expenses equivalent to the federal income tax is newly applied since 1 January of this amount. A law adopted to 105 against 10, the 10 members of Québec solidaire (QS) is speaking out against this act 19.

The following week, at the end of the session, the Assembly had mandated the BAN to “determine the best process to put in place to ensure periodic, independent, the determination of all terms and conditions of meps ‘work”. And this, no later than December 6, 2019.

The BAN thus opted for the constitution of an independent committee of three or five persons formed “promptly” in the course of the current mandate of the Coalition avenir Québec (CAQ). This committee shall make its report not later than eight months after its creation. A committee that will be reformed with new members in both legislatures, or about eight years, in order to bring everything up to date.

The BAN will appoint committee members and determine their remuneration and other benefits obtained in the exercise of their mandate. It plans to recruit from among retired judges, legal advisers, general secretaries of the national Assembly retired, former members, persons in the field of human resources management and people in the field of finance, insurance or pension schemes.

The committee will examine “the totality of the working conditions of mps and members of the executive having a monetary impact,” including “the basic indemnity and additional indemnity, the various allowances, the mechanism of annual indexation, the pension plan, or insurance”.

Comparisons

The members of the committee will be able to make comparisons with other parliaments in Canada and elsewhere in the world, in addition to consult with current and former members, suggests the BAN.

Only problem, there is no consensus on the power to give the results of the work of this committee! Sovereign as to the determination of the conditions of employment of its elected representatives, the national Assembly could now be forced to “give effect by regulations to the whole of the recommendations of the independent committee” or even simply accept these recommendations “as a non-binding proposal”. And all the spectrum between the two.

The members of the provincial parliament of Québec receive an annual base salary of 95 704 $. Add rewards function depending on the positions occupied, as 71 778 $ more (total 167 482 $) for a task of a minister or of the leader of the official opposition. Each of the 125 members of bags as allocations of spending (17 650 $) and displacement (8600 $ 21 300 $), these last two amounts after subtraction of federal income tax on the income.

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