TORONTO – Today’s recommendation by the province’s Minimum Wage Advisory Panel to tie the province’s minimum wage to cost of living increases is both welcome news and unfinished business, said Trish Hennessy, Ontario Director of the CCPA.
“The minimum wage glass is now half full,” said Hennessy. “This recommendation, if adopted, would ensure minimum wage earners would not see the value of their incomes continue to shrink. Now the ball has been passed on to the Premier to finish the job – to bring the minimum wage above the poverty line.”
CCPA economist Kaylie Tiessen estimates that since March 2010, when Ontario’s minimum wage was last increased, the Consumer Price Index has increased by 5.5%. Factoring in Ontario CPI increases means the $10.25 minimum wage would rise to $10.82 per hour – still 20% below the poverty line (based on Ontario 2011 LIM).
Tiessen says there’s an economic and business case to be made for raising the minimum wage closer to the goal post of making every job in Ontario a good job.
“Decent wages are tied to improved productivity and higher retention rates, which decrease pressure on the bottom line,” Tiessen says. “A higher minimum wage will also act as important economic stimulus as low-wage workers spend their increased income at local businesses.”
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The CCPA’s submission to the panel and minimum wage fact sheets can be found here: http://www.policyalternatives.ca/newsroom/updates/raising-ontarios-minimum-wage.
For more information or to schedule an interview please contact Trish Hennessy, CCPA-Ontario: 416-525-4927 or [email protected].