City spending growing too fast, group warns

The Canadian Federation of Independent Business has flagged the increase in Charlottetown's operational spending as something to watch.

Pension costs in Charlottetown bringing up spending faster than population growth

The Canadian Federation of Independent Business has flagged the increase in Charlottetown's operational spending as something to watch.

Its study shows Charlottetown's operating budget, for things like services and salaries, grew four times greater than the increase in the city's population from 2001 to 2012.

CFIB's Erin McGrath-Gaudet said most of that extra money went to keep pensions fully funded. It's the same issue that prompted a major overhaul of pensions by the provincial government.

"[The city needs] to do the same type of exercise that we've seen the province undertake," said McGrath-Gaudet.

"Certainly over time people do have an expectation to draw from those pensions, and if the money is not going to be there it's really not fair to force that onto taxpayers in the future."

Charlottetown finance chair Cecil Villard said unlike the province the city does not have any unfunded liability with its pensions, but he believes pension costs are something the city could have another look at.

"At the end of the day the pension plans are expensive to maintain," said Villard.

"In the long run and I think every level of government needs to really seriously look at options associated with the long-term pension plans that we're all maintaining."

Villard said the city will go through the CFIB report to see if there are other issues the city should be watching.

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