PETITION: Stop The Pay Hike
Canadian Members of Parliament are set to receive a pay raise on April 1st, the same day that the government plans to increase the Carbon Tax. We are urging Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland to halt the pay hike. We have already gathered 7,765 signatures and our goal is to reach 10,000.
The COVID-19 pandemic has led to a significant increase in government spending, with the Canadian Taxpayers Federation calling for a freeze on MPs’ salaries. Former finance minister Bill Morneau has criticized the government’s handling of the pandemic spending, stating that it went on for too long and contributed to the current inflationary issues in Canada. He acknowledged that while the early efforts were important, they were often too large, leading to an overstimulation of the economy.
In 2020/21, pandemic expenditures contributed to a total spending increase of $644.2 billion, and in 2021/22, the spending rose to $508 billion. However, it is crucial to note that a significant portion of this spending increase was unrelated to the pandemic and represents a long-term increase in federal expenditure. The Fraser Institute reported that total federal spending increased by 27% in fiscal year 2022/23 compared to 2019/20. Furthermore, the COVID-19 spending added $8.3 billion to the interest costs of the national debt, with an estimated total of $111.0 billion in wasteful spending and ongoing debt interest costs over the next decade.
Canada’s response to the pandemic spending has been criticized for its lack of effectiveness compared to other developed nations. The country ranked fifth out of 40 industrialized countries in terms of growing government spending as a proportion of its economy in 2020. Additionally, Canada ranked third in increasing its debt-to-GDP ratio between 2019 and 2021, indicating that Canada’s debt grew faster than other surveyed nations.
The former finance minister, Morneau, has also highlighted the issue of inflation resulting from excessive demand. He has argued that the Bank of Canada’s only response to counter pandemic spending was to raise interest rates. However, inflation poses significant challenges for individuals and businesses, as higher interest rates lead to decreased investment.
The Canadian Taxpayers Federation has emphasized the need for fiscal responsibility during these challenging times. They argue that Parliament should prioritize finding savings in the budget rather than increasing spending. They have criticized the Trudeau government for consistently missing budget targets and not adequately assessing program effectiveness.
Treasury Board President Anita Anand has urged Cabinet ministers to cut current spending by setting a firm deadline of October 2. The federal debt is projected to reach $1.2 trillion by the end of this year, with interest charges on the debt costing taxpayers nearly $44 billion in 2023. These costs are expected to rise to $50 billion in 2027.
It is crucial for the Canadian government to evaluate the effectiveness of its pandemic response to avoid repeating costly and ineffective policies in the future. The focus should be on long-term economic concerns and fiscal prudence to ensure the well-being of Canadian citizens and the overall health of the economy. We urge Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland to reconsider the pay hike for Members of Parliament and prioritize responsible management of taxpayer funds.