Due to social distancing requirements related to the virus health rules, only a bare number of politicians are sitting in the few in person meetings. Full virtual meetings are being organised as most Members of Parliament work from home. ( Justin Tang- CP)

Should politicians take a COVID-19 paycut?

It seems a majority of Canadians think so.

With millions of Canadians out of work or with reduced hours due to COVID-19 shutdowns, a new poll shows opinion strongly in favour of politicians taking a pay cut as well.

Conducted by the non-profit Angus Reid Institute, the national survey was conducted for the non-profit taxpayer advocacy group, the Canadian Taxpayers Federation and carried out in the first week of May in English and French.

The poll shows two thirds of respondents say they feel politicians should show solidarity with Canadians who have been suffering the financial loss by themselves taking a pay cut.

Poliiicians in New Zealand, Japan, India, and South Africa have said they’ll take salary cuts while the pandemic lasts.

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said she and her ministers would take a 20 per cent pay cut for six months to show “solidarity” with citizens affected by the pandemic.

Japnese and Indian members of Parliament have agreed to salary reductions of 20 and 30 percent respectively for the next year

South Africa’s President Cyril Ramaphosa also said he and his cabinet would take a 33 per cent slash to salaries. The money cut from their salaries would help fund the country’s COVID-19 relief efforts.

The Angus poll found of the 66 per cent of Canadians who felt politicians here should take a cut, 43 per cent agreed strongly with the idea.

In a press statement CTF Federa Director Aaron Wudrick wrote, “Millions of Canadians have lost their jobs or taken pay cuts .Our federal members of Parliament need to show leadership by cutting their salaries.”

He added, “With next year’s federal deficit already projected to be more than $250 billion, every dollar will count. The sooner MPs show they are personally willing to make sacrifices, the easier it will be for them to make the case for necessary spending reductions elsewhere.”

Canadian Members of Parliament earn a base pay of $182.600 with additional compensation for cabinet members, and service on various committees.

The latest figures in Canada, released Friday, showed unemployment at 13 per cent, the second highest on record.

Categories: Economy, Health, Politics
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