Lockdown raises cost Albertans $18.7 million, CTF says

by Stephen Dafoe

The Canadian Tax Payers Federation announced Wednesday that documents it has obtained, through a freedom of information request, indicate that more than 7,300 Alberta government employees received pay raises in 2020.

“So far it’s clear that we’re not all in this together,” said CTF’s Alberta Director Franco Terrazzano in a Jan. 13 media release. “It’s unacceptable that thousands of bureaucrats received pay hikes while families and businesses were locked down and Premier Jason Kenney needs to reduce these costs on struggling taxpayers.”

The documents show that the province gave 7,384 employees pay increases in 2020, at a cost to taxpayers of $18.7 million. Those raises are 39 per cent of the $47.1 million in raises granted in 2019 and almost on par with the $21.8 million granted in 2018.

Pay raises for provincial employees have totalled $245 million since 2015, when Alberta’s economic downturn began.

“We can’t keep asking workers who lost their jobs or businesses to pay higher taxes so thousands of bureaucrats can collect bigger pay cheques,” Terrazzano said. “It’s time for government bureaucrats to share in the burden and take a cut.”

In 2019, Alberta MLA pay was rolled back 5 per cent, and last October the UCP government rolled back political staff and ministers pay by 7 per cent.

Below is a chart of government employee increases over the past five years.

 

Year Employees

receiving raise

Cost
2020 7,384 $18,682,519
2019 22,022 $47,108,947
2018 7,723 $21,876,006
2017 7,591 $20,989,631
2016 21,327 $55,100,099
2015 27,419 $81,696,340
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