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Manitoba Tories accuse NDP government of padding its political staff

WINNIPEG — Manitoba Opposition Leader Brian Pallister is accusing the NDP government of going on a hiring spree over the past year, but the government says Pallister's math is wrong.

Pallister says the government appears to have hired 14 new staff members in its political wing, and given 12 others pay raises that average 20 per cent.

The Tory leader accuses the NDP of using taxpayer money to swell its ranks before next April's election, and counting on those workers to volunteer for the NDP campaign.

But NDP house leader Dave Chomiak says the government has hired people to replace workers who have left.

He says the pay raises Pallister mentions appear to be for people who have been promoted and are now in higher positions.

Chomiak says Pallister has not provided details such as names and dollar amounts, and says he should do that to back up his accusations.

The government did hire several people following a caucus revolt last year that challenged Premier Greg Selinger's leadership.

Many of the workers left for Alberta and other provinces, and were replaced by new hires or by more junior people who were promoted.

The Canadian Press

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