PC leader backs Hurlock; would scrap MLA gold-plated pension
By Lawrence Powell
Progressive Conservative Leader Jamie Baillie stopped in Bridgetown Wednesday afternoon to talk about his plan to scrap what he calls ‘gold-plated’ MLA pensions and to support Annapolis PC candidate Ginny Hurlock.
Baillie told a crowd of party faithful gathered at Jubilee Park that change starts at the top “and when it comes to MLA pensions, change will start with me.” He said it’s obscene that people who are elected to represent everyday Nova Scotians get a pension that is richer than most Nova Scotians could ever dream of.
Baillie said that for every dollar an MLA contributes to their pension, taxpayers kick in six dollars. He said Liberal Leader Stephen McNeil has rejected the idea of changing the pension plan for MLAs and that McNeil has said he is prepared to accept his pension.
In a press release, Hurlock backed the PC leader.
“I am proud to be a PC candidate and part of a team who understands the MLA pensions plan is outrageous,” Hurlock said. “It’s up to Stephen McNeil to tell voters why he deserves this gold-plated pension.”
Baillie said McNeil, for his 10 years as an MLA, will receive an annual pension of $70,000. In four more years he would be able to collect $130,000 a year for the rest of his life.
The same would be true for most other MLAs, including PC MLAs, but Baillie said he will refuse to accept his and said Hurlock agreed to stand as a candidate with the full knowledge that under a PC government the current pension plan would be scrapped and replaced by recommendations of a citizen committee.