New minimum wage criticized on both sides

FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. — It would appear that by trying to satisfy critics on both sides of the debate, the BC government has managed instead to anger both those for and against increasing the minimum wage.

Richard Truscott with the Canadian Federation of Independent Business is upset the government went beyond its previous commitment to tie the wage to B.C.’s consumer price index.

Again we note, instead of a CPI driven ten-cent-an-hour hike, the government has promised to lift the wage by 40 cents on September 15 to $10.85 an hour — and then do it again, on the same day next year, $11.25.

Truscott warns that’s quite likely to eliminate some entry level jobs.

However, Ian Tostenson of the BC Restaurant Association was less critical arguing the government has taken steps to try and soften the blow for small business.

As reported earlier, the small business tax cut he referred to only amounts to one per cent, from 2.5 to 1.5, but that still represents a 40 per cent reduction.

It should also be noted that both Truscott and Tostenson are pleased the government rejected calls for a jump in the wage to $15.00 an hour, as advocated by others, including the BC Federation of Labour.

President of the BC Federation of Labour Irene Lanzinger says it intends to make this a 2017 election campaign issue.

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