Time to put a stop to dou­ble dip­ping

The Compass - - EDITORIAL -

It just doesn’t seem right that some politi­cians are able to “dou­ble dip.” Surely, some way can be found that taxpayers can es­cape pay­ing a politi­cian twice.

For ex­am­ple, Lib­eral MP Gerry Byrne, a for­mer fed­eral cab­i­net min­is­ter from the west coast is set­ting him­self up to do just that whether in­ten­tion­ally or not. When he re­signs from the House of Com­mons, he will re­ceive a sev­er­ance half his salary of $167,400. Then, when he turns 55, he will col­lect a fed­eral pen­sion un­til he turns 80 to­talling ( life­time) $3,450,711, ac­cord­ing to the Huff- in­g­ton Post and the Cana­dian Taxpayers As­so­ci­a­tion.

If Mr. Byrne gets elected to the House of Assem­bly this Novem­ber as is most likely, he will also most likely get a cab­i­net po­si­tion due to his ex­pe­ri­ence as a long time MP and serv­ing in the fed­eral cab­i­net. That means a salary of $149,429. If he serves two terms in the House of Assem­bly, Mr. Byrne then is el­i­gi­ble for a pro­vin­cial pen­sion and sev­er­ance to go along with his fed­eral ones.

Mr. Byrne had one job; rep­re­sent­ing the peo­ple of New­found­land, but will end up with two sev­er­ance pay­ments and two po­lit­i­cal pen­sions funded by taxpayers.

Now Mr. Byrne is not the only politi­cian likely to join the “dou­ble dip­per” club, Ms. Yvonne Jones, for­mer Lib­eral mem­ber of the House of Assem­bly and now a Lib­eral mem­ber of the House of Com­mons is headed in that di­rec­tion.

I won­der if our politi­cians will do some­thing to cor­rect this un­fair sit­u­a­tion New­found­land taxpayers are sad­dled with.

Doug Smith writes from Grand Falls-Wind­sor

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