Manitoba

Manitoba MLAs to get 4.6% pay increase

Manitoba's elected officials will be getting a pay increase starting in 2014, their first raise in five years.

Manitoba's elected officials will be getting a pay increase starting in 2014, their first raise in five years.

A report by Michael Werier, an independent commissioner tasked with reviewing MLA pay and benefits, recommends setting their annual pay at $89,500, which is up by 4.6 per cent.

The increase will take effect April 1, 2014, after a legislated freeze in salaries expires, the provincial legislative assembly said in a news release Wednesday.

The premier and cabinet members will also receive additional pay of $75,000 and $49,000, respectively, marking the first pay raises for those positions as well.

"You look at comparisons with MLAs in other provinces, and what increases have been given in the public sector, and just the general economic condition of the province and what the general cost of living increases have been," Werier told CBC News.

The pay freeze, which was enacted five years ago, placed the pay packages of Manitoba politicians in eighth place among Canada's 10 provinces, while a salary roll-back for cabinet ministers and the premier put them last across the country.

"I don't know that Manitobans believe we should have the worst-paid public officials in the country," Werier said.

"I think they feel that there should be fair and reasonable compensation."

Werier has also ordered an increase to MLAs' allowances for office expenses and travel where appropriate.

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