Premier Dalton McGuinty was on the defensive, Wednesday, over published reports about the severance he and other high-level Liberal cabinet ministers are receiving when they leave office.

The current provincial rules state regardless of whether an MPP quits, retires or loses in an election, outgoing MPPs get 18 months pay after eight years of service, and the Premier thinks this system is fair.

With senior cabinet ministers and the Premier not running again, Ontario taxpayers will be helping to pay out nearly $1-million.

“Let’s say I was to live 25 more years,” McGuinty told reporters. “I would get a pension under the old system of $70-thousand a year, so they tell me I collect about $3.7-million on the old system. On the new system, I get about $300-thousand.”

“I’m sure that there are some people who believe that if politicians were to be paid $100 per year, that would be $100 too much.”

McGuinty said all three parties agreed to the changes that were made by the previous Mike Harris-led Conservative government, which eliminated the gold-plated pensions and replaced it with lump-sum severance.

“I think that’s a healthy development and in the interest of Ontario taxpayers,” he said.