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BC Liberals call for MLA pay freeze to support more urgent priorities

VICTORIA (October 6, 2022) – As B.C. families struggle with skyrocketing costs for housing, fuel, groceries, goods and services, Opposition House Leader Todd Stone will today table a private member’s bill that will put a freeze on MLA salaries for 2023/24 in recognition of the economic challenges facing everyday British Columbians.

“British Columbians expect their elected representatives to lead by example. As our constituents continue to face financial challenges due to inflation, the last thing they’d want to see is their MLA receiving a pay bump,” says Stone, MLA for Kamloops-South Thompson. “Accepting a pay increase of up to 10 per cent would be completely out of line with the expectations of families who are struggling to put food on the table or keep their kids in extra-curricular activities.”

Stone notes that the former BC Liberal government froze MLA salaries from 2010 to 2013 against the backdrop of a recession and tough economic circumstances that impacted many British Columbians. It was the right thing to do then, and should happen again today considering the urgent challenges people are facing.

“We are in the middle of a housing and health care crisis. One in five British Columbians is without a family doctor, and many are struggling to access emergency and primary care. We need more mental health and addictions supports, and more housing built that people can afford,” says Stone. “These are the types of pressing issues government should be focusing on instead.”

The private member’s bill would freeze MLA salaries by suspending the legislated annual Consumer Price Index adjustment on April 1, 2023. Stone adds that in addition to supporting his common-sense proposal to freeze MLA pay, the NDP should also reverse their retroactive pay hike for cabinet ministers.

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