Mr. Speaker, I want to congratulate the Board of Internal Economy's decision to find approximately 7% in savings from members' office budgets. It is important that members look for ways where we can save taxpayers' money.
Unfortunately, I have to question the comments of my hon. colleague from the NDP who said that it was “a big mistake to trim the MPs' budgets even the little bit they did because that could mean the difference between another staff position and serving people in the constituency”.
Last year that member spent over $42,000 on his accommodations, per diem expenses, hospitality, events and advertising. That is on top of his travel expenses which exceeded $162,000.
When asked to find approximately $21,000 in savings, I have to ask why the NDP member for Winnipeg Centre would not find savings in his own expenses rather than possibly firing a member of his staff.