04/07/2015 12:55 EDT | Updated 06/07/2015 05:59 EDT

Nova Scotia to freeze wages for politicians for three years: finance minister

HALIFAX - The salaries of Nova Scotia politicians would be frozen for three years under legislation introduced Tuesday by the provincial government, a move the finance minister says is aimed at setting an example before she brings in this week's budget.

Diana Whalen said the wage freeze would extend as well to about 1,800 non-unionized employees including senior managers, secretaries and political staff.

The legislation would also freeze a proposed change to a pension payout known as the pubic service award for those employees.

The changes would save the government about $2.5 million a year, she said.

Whalen said the budget will include some tough decisions and the wage freeze is aimed at showing the government will share the load.

"The government understands that we have to be part of the solution, that we also have to curtail and belt-tighten and look after our expenses," she said.

The last salary increase for house members was a two-per-cent increase two years ago.

The government also wants to eliminate transitional pay to legislature members who are eligible for full pensions. Under the current formula, the maximum payout in transitional pay is $89,000.