Members of the National Assembly (MNAs) are entitled to earn "as much money as possible" for their children, says Quebec Premier François Legault, who is not ruling out a $30,000 salary increase for elected officials before June 9.

His government tabled Bill 24 on May 11, which would increase the base salary of elected officials from $101,561 to $131,766. The bill is now at the stage of being passed in principle.

In question period on Tuesday, Legault again defended the measure, which was recommended by an independent committee, saying that the best candidates from all walks of life should be recruited into politics.

Last week, he argued that the debate on the remuneration of elected officials in the National Assembly had been dragging on for too long, and that his government was showing "courage."

"I am thinking of a young father who wants to give as much as possible to his children. It's normal that we offer him a remuneration that is competitive," said Legault on Tuesday.

"A young father or mother has the right to earn as much money as possible to give as much as possible to their children. That's how I see life," he added.

The parliamentary leader of Québec solidaire (QS), Gabriel Nadeau-Dubois, immediately disagreed with the premier: in his opinion, "no one goes into politics to make as much money as possible."

QS strongly opposes the bill, claiming it's absurd that MNAs would pay themselves a substantial salary increase.

When the party called for the bill to be suspended, Legault suggested that he might use an exceptional measure -- the gag order -- to speed up its passage.

"We're not there yet," he told a reporter asking if such a scenario was excluded.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published in French on May 24, 2023.