Canada's Finance Minister Jim Flaherty speaks during Question Period in the House of Commons, Oct. 17, 2012.
Credits: REUTERS/Chris Wattie
OTTAWA - Canadians will soon learn just how much more MPs are willing to chip in to pay for their platinum-plated pensions plans.
Finance Minister Jim Flaherty is expected to table his second omnibus budget bill Thursday, and contained within the document will be the Conservative's long-awaited plans to rebalance the pension that has taxpayers shelling out $24 for every $1 each MP sinks into the nest egg.
The Conservative government - which is also looking to trim public sector pensions and has boosted the age of eligibility for Old Age Security - promised MP pension reform in the spring budget.
That included a commitment to have MPs matching taxpayer contributions at a dollar-for-dollar rate, with increases starting in January.
Details on the changes were still being hammered out in mid-September, but reports suggest that as of 2015, MPs will triple the amount they're currently paying into their plan.
In question period Wednesday, NDP House Leader Nathan Cullen pushed Flaherty on whether the opposition should expect another "Trojan horse" budget bill like the omnibus legislation tabled by the government last spring.
In his parry, Flaherty took a swipe at the NDP for failing to ask him questions earlier on the economy and played coy over his bill's content.
"It contains, not surprisingly, measures that are in the budget," he said. He later told reporters the bill is "as big as it needs to be."
Flaherty's first omnibus budget bill was tabled last March. Weighing in at over 420 pages, it adjusted 70 separate pieces of legislation and contained some 700 clauses.
It covered everything from making the governor general's salary taxable to bringing Mounties into the public health-care system, boosting the age of eligibility for OAS, reforming employment insurance and streamlining environmental assessments.
Opposition parties were in a huff over the size of the bill and in June forced a forced a marathon overnight voting session on 800 amendments tabled in protest. The Tories defeated each amendment and successfully passed the legislation while the opposition maintained they brought public attention to a piece of legislation bill they felt was deeply flawed.