N.S. MLA pension plan too rich: group
The Canadian Taxpayers Federation wants Nova Scotia to scrap the current pension plan for members of the legislative assembly, which it says could be worth $23 million to two dozen politicians.
The national lobby group reviewed the pension plan and found that for every dollar a politician contributes, taxpayers chip in $22.
In a study released Tuesday, the federation says the 24 MLAs who are currently eligible to collect a pension stand to pocket more than $23 million, assuming they all live to at least 75.
Premier Darrell Dexter and Liberal Wayne Gaudet could earn as much as $2 million each, while others have million-dollar lifetime pension benefits.
Nova Scotia's MLA pension plan is simply too generous, said federation president Troy Lanigan.
"This is, if not the [most], one of the most lucrative across the country," he told reporters in Halifax.
Lanigan said the provincial government should scrap the pension system and replace it with one that reduces taxpayers' contribution from $22 to $1, to $1 to $1.
Kevin Lacey, the federation's new director for Atlantic Canada, is urging Nova Scotians to join his group's lobby effort.
"Unless people are pushing, change isn't going to happen," said Lacey, a former Conservative staffer who worked for former Nova Scotia premier John Hamm and Prime Minister Stephen Harper.
Lacey said five former MLAs who are under investigation by police for their spending should lose their pensions if they are convicted of any crime.
The federation is recommending the creation of a citizens panel to review MLA pay and benefits.