While he won’t take sides in the thorny debate on the Wildrose Alliance leader’s allowance, Premier Ed Stelmach did state Thursday there are funding rules in place for a reason.

On the heels of a letter sent to members of a legislative committee Wednesday by Wildrose Alliance MLA Paul Hinman, which asks for their funding to be increased, Stelmach said it’s up to the committee to decide if a budget raise is appropriate.

“The committee will be hearing the evidence presented because it’s a committee decision, not the premier’s office ... and it will follow in tradition of the house,” Stelmach said.

“There are rules in place in terms of how a leader is defined and also rules attached to additional finances.”

There are three Wildrose MLAs in the legislature and the party is asking for another $233,000 in addition to its caucus budget of $190,000, according to Hinman.

“While some in the government may be tempted to use this issue as a partisan tool, we hope government MLAs will examine their conscience and do what is right,” Hinman said.

The Wildrose Alliance has stated it will be pursuing the issue further on Monday.