New Brunswick — It was reported Monday afternoon that Premier Gallant and his cabinet ministers will be taking a pay cut beginning in April of this year in light of the enormous deficit the province is facing. “These are hard times,” said the premier as he sipped from his Robin’s coffee cup as opposed to his normal cup from Tim Hortons. “Hard times call for drastic measures, and that means we need to do our part, too. That’s why I’ve made the decision for us to all take a modest cut to our salaries.”
Mere hours after the announcement of the cabinet’s new pay structure, The Manatee learned that the premier is also implementing a new and lucrative bonus structure for himself and his ministers. The new pay structure will see those affected by the cuts take a 15 percent reduction in their annual salaries, while the bonus system could see them awarded with a one-time payment of 40 percent of their salary at the end of the fiscal year.
The new bonus system sees the premier and his cabinet receive their bonus only if they are able to reach certain criteria and benchmarks that the premier has set. This includes: doing at least 5 good things throughout the year; missing no more than 30 days of work due to illness without a written excuse from either a doctor or your mother; passing a self-assessment of your yearly performance; and not being arrested with cause.
Premier Gallant was not immediately available for comment, but The Manatee was able to speak with 2 cabinet ministers regarding the surprising change in their pay. “When I see people struggling to get by while they work 2 jobs at minimum wage, it makes me feel better about reducing my salary to a lowly $132,000,” expressed a compassionate Health Minister Victor Boudreau. “We need to stick together in New Brunswick, so I’ll slum it just like everyone else.”
“We’re doing all kinds of other things to cut costs too,” said Deputy Premier Stephen Horsman. “Brian and I have been taking 1 car instead of 2 to all of our workout sessions, our luncheons, galas, the winter formal and the Liberal ice cream social, and we shared a room at our all-inclusive vacation last week. We’re really humbling ourselves to help New Brunswick succeed — we’re pretty awesome.”
On the heels of this announcement, public opinion seems to have swayed largely in favour of the Liberal government; in fact, The Manatee wasn’t able to find a single person who was against the pay cut. “This is amazing,” said a joyous Sharon Wheeler of Hartland. “Finally, these people in suits are taking money out of their own pockets rather than simply taking from us regular folk. Now they’re only making 4 times as much money as I do instead of 5. I only hope they’ll still have enough money at the end of the day to fill up their Cadillac and heat up their mansion.”
The Liberals have been taking huge steps toward decreasing New Brunswick’s debt and finding themselves on the verge of balancing the budget; if they succeed, they plan on throwing a “massively huge and extravagant party,” according to Boudreau. “We’ll make sure to keep it cheap, though, by getting our booze from Quebec.”