Last week, the government of Nova Scotia announced the minimum wage in that province would be rising to $10.30 starting April 1.
That province’s government has a system which increases the minimum wage equal to the change in the consumer price index the year previous — a process under consideration for Newfoundland and Labrador.
Nova Scotia, according to the government, has the highest minimum wage in Atlantic Canada.
Our minimum wage is at $10 an hour and a process is in the works to determine if there should be an increase and how much it should be.
Whenever raising the minimum wage comes to the fore, there are always those who start looking for reasons why low income workers don’t deserve to have their wages increased.
The first complaints usually come — understandably — from the business community which will end up having to budget for the mandated increase.
Business owners see more of their profits going out in wages and demand government resist the temptation to raise the minimum wage.
But that outlook is shortsighted.
These minimum wage workers spend every cent they make trying to keep food on their tables, the heat and lights on.
They don’t take the extra money and stuff it away for a rainy day ... they spend it and return it to the local economy. All the money that goes out ends up back at the businesses that pay them.
The second group who take umbrage are those who feel minimum wage workers shouldn’t be in those unskilled jobs and don’t deserve as much pay as they get. Who these complainers think will serve their food, pump their gas, pour their coffee and provide dozens of other services is a question they never seem to consider.
Increasing the minimum wage by a modest amount on a regular basis is good for everyone in society ... and opponents should look for better reasons to oppose it.