Despite her party’s claim to understand the issues facing Newfoundlanders and Labradorians, NDP Leader Lorraine Michael’s recent comments on increasing the minimum wage again shows this is not the case.
First, the minimum wage has risen significantly in the past decade. Since forming government in 2003, the Progressive Conservatives have raised the minimum wage by 66 per cent. Similarly, the party has committed to increasing the minimum wage by 25 cents this October and again in October 2015.
This growth has been larger than wage increases in the private sector during the same period and has provided a fair base wage for residents of this province.
Secondly, larger increases in the minimum wage will only put a larger strain on small business owners and lead to increased costs, which can be directly passed onto the consumers through increased prices or onto their employees by reducing their hours of work.
Neither action results in a better situation for the low wage earners of our province, despite the NDP leader’s statements, especially since less than four per cent of full-time workers are paid the minimum wage. Overall, the NDP continues to show they are out of touch with the people of this province and unfit to lead.
Devin Drover, president