Perks, peeves and politicians

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If you’re living on a fixed income (pensions) or working your butt off and trying to raise a family on the minimum wage, how can one not reply to  the Aug. 9th article in The Weekend Telegram “Departing premiers get plenty of perks”?

Secondary benefits for former premiers include annual free licences for moose, fishing, seals and the like.

When asked, former premier Roger Grimes was quick to point out that he only gets a few sausages and a couple of roasts from his entitlement.

That’s great.

Let’s see — a few sausages and a couple of roasts at about 4 lbs. per roast should be about 10 lbs. of moose meat.

Really, why would you bother? Killing an animal for 10 lbs. of meat? It must be for the thrill of the hunt!

So, what happened to the other 600, 700, 800, or so lbs. of moose meat? Was it left in the woods to decay? Was it distributed to close friends? Was it given to various charities to raise money through the sale of moose burgers?  

Perks? That’s only the start.

What about 500 square feet of office space for three years paid for by the taxpayers of this province? And don’t forget to add in a personal assistant for three years at “who cares about another $70,000 dollars of taxpayers’ money.”

Not enough? OK, how about 81.2 per cent of their gross salary for pension and one month’s severance for every year worked to a maximum of 12 months?

Want more?

Isn’t it time to do away with this snobbish and unfair practice?

Why do our premiers and politician’s need such perks and bonuses, when they are so handsomely paid by the taxpayers for what they do?

For decades now, the motto of politicians in Newfoundland and Labrador seems to have been: if you’re going to help someone, you may as well start with yourself first.

Unfortunately and sadly, it still seems to be the prevailing view.

Is that what we can expect from the next generation of politicians? Is that the perception that they want for themselves? Is that how they want their legacy to be remembered?

Please, give us all a break.  

We, the people, can’t even fish for a single cod when we want to. Our friends in the Maritimes are certainly not restricted to a three-week recreational food fishery. With all the talk from hopeful ministers who want to be premier and the talk from those who are established as the leaders of their parties, who want to be premier, making promises about what their governments will do … continues to be the same old, same old.

If our next premier and his/her government have the strength of character to do something positive for our province, why not start with abolishing some or all of these disgusting personal perks for premiers?

In their place I offer some new perks for our beloved premiers and N.L. politicians and they won’t cost the taxpayers of this province five cents.

First perk (or is it perker up?) — one large salt beef bucket of free caplin, in season, can be smoked, dried to taste; must do your own casting.

No. 2 — one full week free of charge to any premier, of the simple joy of fishing off any wharf in N.L. for conners, flat fish, tomcods and other wild species.

No. 3 — in season, free views of ice bergs, dolphins, whales and sea birds anywhere along the exquisitely beautiful coast of our extensive province.

No. 4 — free travel on the TCH from St. John’s to Port aux Basques, along with two free moose whistles for your personal safety.

No. 5 — (the ultimate perker-upper) one annual free ride over Muskrat Falls with the former honourable Kathy Dunderdale leading the charge. (Premiers are asked to please bring their own wetsuits, barrel or floating device. A second ride, if necessary, will cost each premier $100,000 to be paid in full to Nalcor before taking the ride.)

Now, about that $95,000 base salary and another $72,000 for being premier. Can we talk?

P.J. Dwyer

Gander

Geographic location: N.L., Newfoundland and Labrador, Port aux Basques Muskrat Falls

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  • Dolf
    August 15, 2014 - 05:43

    Atta b'y P.J.