OUT VIEW: Debating MLA salaries

We say: We have to balance the compensation with the service

There will be some quite envious of the cold, hard cash our elected representatives in Victoria are taking home.

After all, they each earn $102,568 for their duties, and that’s a lot of money compared to many individuals who are struggling to make ends meet on minimum wage or those two-income families trying to keep the mortgage paid.

On top of this, MLAs who are not from the area are also given a housing allowance because they have to live in Victoria, while there are also additional stipends for extra duties, such as being a cabinet minister, parliamentary secretary or caucus whip.

Add it all up, and the financial returns appear to be pretty good.

However, consider that considerable workload goes into being an MLA.

There are countless hours at meetings, reading documents and getting together with constituents in the riding.

And if you have been appointed to a legislative committee, you could spend considerable time travelling the province.

On top of this, being an MLA requires you to be in Victoria away from your family for days on end, and your careers are put on hold.

In the end, residents need to look at the compensation and determine if the service they receive from their MLA is worth it.

The other question to ask is if you would consider running for office based on the current pay, workload and disruption to private life?

-Black Press

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