EDMONTON, AB (February 17, 2019): A United Conservative government would lead by example, reducing the Premier’s salary by ten percent, and MLA salaries by five percent.
The announcement was made by UCP Leader Jason Kenney at the close of the party’s election readiness conference in Edmonton that showcased the UCP’s 81 nominated candidates as a “new generation of leadership.”
“Because of the NDP’s out-of-control spending, we are going deeper into debt by the day. Albertans want a government that will restore fiscal responsibility to our province and that has to start at the top,” said Kenney.
These reductions would be on top of the five percent MLA pay cuts that were imposed in 2015 by the Prentice government, in addition to a six-year MLA salary freeze that began in 2013.
“To be clear – this show of leadership does not mean that a future UCP government will be seeking salary rollbacks in the broader public sector,” Kenney said.
“Our goal is to balance the budget in four years by reigniting Alberta’s economy, while holding overall spending at current levels. We believe that our great public servants can help us do that by building a high-performance government that eliminates waste and inefficiency, with more choice and competition in the delivery of services. But there will be difficult choices ahead, and that’s why it’s important for our future caucus to show this kind of leadership in restraining our own salaries.”
Kenney also pledged to end a perk for elected members which allows MLAs to claim fuel and minor maintenance expenses for private vehicles, in addition to a per-kilometre allowance. “We can’t justify perks like this, especially at a time when 170,000 Albertans are out of work, and so many others have taken big cuts in their take home pay,” Kenney said. “The time for real leadership is now.”
“Our entire team of candidates endorsed these measures, a strong sign of how this new generation of leadership is ready to put the province first,” Kenney remarked.
Today’s announcement followed on last week’s release of the UCP’s democratic reform platform, which included a commitment to MLA recall, greater use of free votes, capping donations to political action committees, and barring governments from running partisan political ads.