Some members of Alberta’s opposition were stunned Thursday, after a Tweet from the premier announced the Progressive Conservatives had frozen MLA pay and housing allowances.

On Thursday morning, Premier Alison Redford posted a message on Twitter, saying she was proud of her party for ‘leading by example’, and that the ‘PCs will freeze MLA pay and housing allowances today.’

That message sparked online response from the leaders of two opposition parties - as it was sent out before a Member Services Committee had voted on the recommendation.

Wildrose and Official Opposition Leader Danielle Smith fired back, saying she was under the impression the provincial Member Services Committee had voted for an 8 percent increase – later saying the premier should have stopped the increase ‘when it counted.’

"Big gaff by Premier Redford," Smith said Thursday. "It's pretty remarkable that when we were debating the pay increase the committee is independent.

"So now we've seen quite clearly today that she directs what happens on that committee."

Liberal Leader Raj Sherman also chimed in on Twitter, replying with a question, asking if the premier was implying the decision of the committee had already been determined.

CTV News spoke with NDP Leader Brian Mason Thursday morning; his reaction echoed the apparent feeling of his counterparts.

“A violation of rights of members and we’ll be considering whether or not some action should be taken,” Mason said. “We don’t believe that these kinds of announcements should be made over Twitter, and I would give Alison Redford a ‘hashtag fail’.”

Hours after that exchange took place however, Smith posted another tweet, saying her party had voted in favour of following suit – to which Redford tweeted back thanks, saying ‘It’s good to work together to do the right thing’.

The automatic cost of living increase was one of the recommendations of the Justice John Major report, released last year.

Redford said the decision to freeze pay and other reductions to MLA compensation adds up to an eight percent pay reduction in the last year.

"We took an eight per cent pay cut in overall compensation in June of last year, and we shrunk cabinet on Monday," Redford said. "We'll continue to do as much as we can to demonstrate that we're prepared to cut back and then to freeze."

The Twitter exchange can be seen in the following Storify timeline:

The automatic cost of living increase was one of the recommendations of the Justice John Major report, released last year.

The province passed a motion in May 2012, approving in principle the recommendations of the report – which lead to adjustments in MLA remuneration the next month.

As of April 23, 2012, all MLAs made at least $134,000 – none of which was tax free.

In addition to that, certain amounts are added corresponding to different roles, so the premier also makes an additional $83,750, and the Speaker, Ministers with portfolios, and the Leader of the Official Opposition make an additional $67,000.

Other roles such as ministers without portfolios, the Deputy Speaker and Chair of Committees, and the Deputy Chair of Committees, along with leaders of a recognized opposition party make between $16,000 and $33,000 in additional remuneration.

The decision to change MLA compensation in April raised the income of MLA’s from a total base compensation of $78,138 – which had not changed since 2008.

The Premier's office said freezing MLA pay will save the government about $135,000 per year.

With files from Veronica Jubinville