WhatFinger

Parliament should post expense receipts online like City of Toronto and Alberta

Taxpayers Federation Calls for Convicted Politicians to Lose Pensions


By Nick Bergamini—— Bio and Archives--May 10, 2013

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OTTAWA, ON: In light of the Deloitte report on inappropriate Senate expenses, the Canadian Taxpayers Federation (CTF) is renewing its call for a new law that would take away the Parliamentary pension from any politician convicted of crimes related to abuse of their office.

“Any politician convicted of stealing, fraud or breach of trust related to their position doesn’t deserve to get a cent from their taxpayer-funded pension plan,” said CTF Research Director Nick Bergamini. “When a politician is caught with their fingers in the cookie jar they shouldn’t just get a slap on the wrist.”

The CTF first called for introduction of the “Raymond Lavigne Rule” – named after former Senator Raymond Lavigne – in 2011 after revelations that Lavigne would still be eligible for his generous Senate pension despite his fraud conviction.

The chair of the Senate’s Board of Internal Economy, David Tkachuk, responding to yesterday’s release of the Deloitte investigation into improperly claimed Senate living expenses, stated that Senators Mac Harb and Patrick Brazeau clearly broke Senate rules and should repay their housing expenses. Senator Mike Duffy repaid $90,000 in housing expenses in April.

“Given the serious nature of these allegations, the matter should be referred to the RCMP,” said Bergamini. “If they’re convicted, taxpayers shouldn’t be on the hook to keep these guys living in the lap of luxury for the rest of their lives.”

The Government of Nova Scotia recently introduced a similar law in response to a provincial expense scandal that has seen three MLAs convicted of abusing their expense accounts and another awaiting trial.

“We applaud the Nova Scotia government for sending a message to MLAs that if you break the law, you can’t expect another dime from taxpayers,” said CTF Atlantic Director Kevin Lacey. “In light of the Senate housing expenses scandal, the federal government should follow Nova Scotia’s lead.”

The CTF calculates that if the senators were to remain in office until the mandatory retirement age of 75, they would collect a generous pension. Because Senate salaries and pensions are adjusted for inflation, Brazeau would be eligible for a $200,000 annual pension in 2049. Harb would receive $136,000 starting in 2028 while Duffy would collect $58,000 by 2021.

The CTF is also calling on the feds to adopt the Government of Alberta’s expense disclosure policy, which sees politicians post their expenses online with accompanying receipts.

“Posting expenses online would allow the public to keep tabs on politicians and stop these cases of abuse before they happen,” concluded Bergamini.

Nick Bergamini, Research Director


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Canadian Taxpayers Federation Nick Bergamini -- Bio and Archives | Comments

Canadian Taxpayers Federation


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