Brison to curb spending?

In a CP report today, printed in the CH this morning,  Brison says he is “willing to economize.” He adds that the “savings would be small compared to the size of the potentially massive budget shortfalls facing the government.” Yes, that’s true. But it reminds us of an exchange at the Senate Banking Committee hearing on the “Big Three” bailout a week ago.

One of the Senators asked whether any of the CEO’s had taken salary cuts. One of them said that he took a 50% cut in his salary and the Senator pointed out, in so many words, that he’d do that in a split second too if it was reducing one’s take home pay from 200 million to 100 million. The CEO pointed out, in so many words,  that any reduction was peanuts in the whole scheme of things, whereupon the Senator replied that yes, it was perhaps symbolic but symbols were important where taxpayers money was involved. The CEO’s after that little lecture should have known there would be no mercy about flying home first class on corporate jets!

Getting back to the CP report, Flaherty is reported to have chided Brison “for flying business class to his Kings Hants riding last Friday.” Just for the record Brison denied it, saying he flew economy. [Hope he is telling the truth; it is something that some sharp eyed airline employee might notice and contradict if it isn’t quite so. ]

Whatever curbs on MP and bureaucratic extravagance the Harper government can impose will be none too soon. We may hear more about it tomorrow when the government comes out with its “economic update”.

The update will contain significant high-profile measures to control discretionary spending, said Kory Teneycke, the prime minister’s director of communication.

“This will be worth tens of millions of dollars a year in savings.”

“This is not going to be window-dressing. This will be substantial. It’s important these things start at the top and that means politicians and senior bureaucrats.”

They’ve already started with CBC!

And that’s not all. The political parties too!

Flaherty refused to comment on details of his economic update, to be delivered Thursday, but he alluded to the need for politicians to impose restraint on themselves.

Do you think Judy Streatch will wake up and smell the cheaper coffee? [Her mistake of course was not buying Just Us coffee. Then she would have been forgiven.]


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