The budget documents released this week show a significant increase in the size and spending of the BC NDP government.
According to the B.C. Liberals, cabinet ministers would receive a 10% raise on their salary, which is generally deferred when the province records a deficit budget.
The New Democrat government’s budget, according to the Liberals, includes a proposed revision to the Balanced Budget and Ministerial Accountability Act that would offer higher pay to ministers even if the government is in deficit.
While people in British Columbia are struggling with rising costs, Premier John Horgan and his cabinet ministers are about to receive pay raises, according to Liberal House Leader Todd Stone.
Finance Minister Selina Robinson tried to defend the proposal, saying the 10-percentage-point holdback could be viewed as a deterrent to funding budget-related programes and policies.
Horgan’s annual salary is approximately $211,000, while cabinet ministers are paid approximately $167,000, but the 10% withheld is only on the portion of their incomes related to their cabinet positions.
On top of the $111,000 pay awarded to members of the legislature, Horgan receives around $100,000, while cabinet ministers receive roughly $56,000.
“Fighting unaffordability is not one of the priorities of this budget,” Stone said in the legislature. “But what was one of the priorities: making life more affordable for the premier and for NDP cabinet ministers.”