Francis Vachon Le Devoir In October, the annual budget of the National Assembly had to be revised upwards by 4, $4 million to fund an increase in MPs' base compensation from $101,561 to $131,766.
The members of the Coalition Avenir Québec (CAQ) leave the mystery surrounding their decision to give up an increase in their remuneration which would be granted to them under a “trailer clause” and which would be added to an increase in 30% obtained last June.
A spokesperson for the CAQ parliamentary wing first indicated Tuesday to Devoir that the members of the caucus had chosen to exclude their remuneration from an automatic annual increase matched to that of senior civil servants. p>
In a written statement, Marc Danis says this decision follows the adoption in June of a law increasing MPs' compensation by 30%, a move presented as “catching up” by the Prime Minister François Legault.
“Since the annual allowance for members of the National Assembly has just been revised, and it has been in effect since last April, our caucus has made the decision not to be indexed this year,” declared Mr. Danis.
Before the adoption of the law formalizing the 30% “catch-up”, the basic compensation had increased from $59,661, in 1998, to $99,570, in 2021, then to $101,561, in 2022, following annual increases in the remuneration of senior civil servants. The 30% increase voted in June increased the annual compensation of deputies to $131,766.
It was impossible to know why the CAQ caucus refused indexation, when this decision was made. taken, if it could apply to subsequent years and if a law will be necessary to formalize everything. Mr. Danis said on Thursday that he would not make any further statements on the subject.
- The Assembly national increases its budget by $4.4 million to pay MPs
- The elected representatives of the National Assembly vote for a 30% salary increase
Last week, the Minister of Finance, Eric Girard, had was asked about this “trailer clause” during a radio interview. Mr. Girard did not then know whether or not MPs benefited from an adjustment of their remuneration based on those in the public sector, which would have been added to the 30% “catch-up”.
“The deputies are employees of the National Assembly, they are not part of the scope of negotiations with the public sector,” he said on the airwaves of 98.5 FM on November 8, committing to verify this hypothesis.
Two hours later, his cabinet invalidated it, specifying that the deputies had chosen to renounce the increase, which would have applied retroactively to April 1, 2023.
“They won’t have it this year,” said press officer Claudia Loupret.
Contacted on this subject, the National Assembly confirmed the matching of the remuneration of deputies to the salary scales of higher jobs. However, it was not possible to verify how the CAQ decision would be administered.
“The National Assembly does not issue any comments on communications between the administration and parliamentary groups or on subjects that affect the personal information of parliamentarians,” replied spokesperson Béatrice Zacharie.
In October, the annual budget of the National Assembly had to be revised upwards by $4.4 million to finance the increase in the basic allowance of deputies, which went from $101,561 to $131,766 $. Ms. Zacharie had specified that the increase in the budget covered the period from June 7, 2023 to March 31, 2024.
This decision by the Office of the National Assembly (BAN) was supported on October 19 by members of the CAQ and the Liberal Party of Quebec. Those from Québec solidaire voted against. As for the Parti Québécois, it does not have the right to vote in the BAN due to its position as the third parliamentary group.
Thursday, it was not yet possible to know what the position of the other groups will be parliamentarians in relation to these annual increases. The Parti Québécois was unable to comment.
On the Liberal side, spokesperson Catherine Dostie said discussions would take place in caucus.
“We learned of the CAQ's position in the media, so we will take the time to discuss it. chat, she said. This seems to demonstrate that the government is trying to make amends by trying at all costs to win back popular opinion in the middle of negotiations with the public sector. »
In June, the decision to increase the basic allowance of MPs by $30,000 aroused the opposition of three out of four Quebecers, according to a Léger survey paid for by Québec solidaire.
Most of the solidarity elected officials, who were free to decide, refused this increase, indicating that they would give it in the form of donations to organizations. The Parti Québécois deputies also refused this increase. They will make donations equivalent to what exceeds the percentage of the salary increase obtained by state employees as part of the current negotiations. The CAQ and the Liberal Party accepted the full increase.