Sunday, January 24, 2010

The Cost of Prorogation

Just the Facts:
The Cost of Prorogation

According to media reports, the cost to taxpayers of shutting down Parliament is nearly $50 million – tax dollars wasted for basically nothing.

Members of Parliament and Senators, as well as hundreds of other Parliamentary staff, continue to get paid while Parliament is shut down.

According to The Hill Times, Parliament employs roughly 1200 full-time employees. Of those 1200 full-time employees, 222 people, mostly food service and Hansard reporting employees, were laid off as a result of prorogation – which means that the bulk of the cost of running Parliament is still borne by taxpayers even through Parliament is prorogued. Furthermore, laid-off Parliamentary staff are likely now collecting Employment Insurance at taxpayers’ expense.

A conservative estimate of taxpayer dollars wasted on prorogation would exclude MP salaries, as they do other work besides sit in Parliament.

Here’s how it all adds up:

Total operating cost for the House of Commons per year: $426,541,000
Total annual cost of MPs’ salaries: $108,209,000
House of Commons operating cost, minus MP salaries: $318,332,000

Total operating cost for the Senate per year: $90,606,000
Total annual cost of Senators’ salaries: $25,345,000
Senate operating cost, minus Senate salaries: $65,261,000

Average number of days Parliament sits: 173
Average cost for a single sitting day in the House of Commons: $318,332,000/173 = $1,840,000 per day
Average cost for a single sitting day in the Senate: $65,261,000/173 = $377,000 per day

Number of sitting days Parliament is prorogued: 22
Cost of prorogation in the House of Commons: $1,840,000 x 22 = $40,480,000
Cost of prorogation in the Senate: $377,000 x 22 = $8,294,000

Combined House and Senate cost during prorogation, minus MP and Senator salaries: $40,480,000+$8,294,000 = $48,774,000

Total cost of shutting down Parliament to taxpayers: $48,774,000

Source: 2009-10 Main Estimates for Parliament

H/T to Liberal Causes

ONTARIO! Ours to Recover


Brent said...

I heard most laid off employees haven't banked enough hours to qualify for EI. Which would mean they have no income.

Tom said...

Of course when Libral governments prorouged Parliament, it didn't cost the nation a cent? Bad Tories!

James Curran said...

That's correct Tom. And, democracy wasn't circumvented...since Chretien had a MAJORITY when he prorogued.

Rusty Shackleford said...