Friday, January 22, 2010

Dictator Harper Charges Taxpayers 50 Million Dollars For His Recalibration

So the good news is that Harper's recalibration has cost taxpayers 50 million dollars.

But look on the bright side. He's all greased up, the joints have been oiled, and he will be primed and ready for a long winter's nap.

But please don't worry about him. He and his muzzled MPs will still be paid a salary, and he can muzzle them at home just as easily as he can muzzle them in Ottawa.

Of course all those poor workers on Parliament Hill have all been laid off. So glad that neoconservativism has scored another victory. If only they had pulled themselves up by their bootstraps.

But then they won't be able to afford boots now, anyway; so it's not really a problem.

Just the Facts: The Cost of Prorogation
January 22, 2010

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

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