Minimum wage going up June 1

Teresa Wright
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Environment, Labour and Justice Minister Janice Sherry

Workers on minimum wage in Prince Edward Island will soon see a small bump in pay.

Labour Minister Janice Sherry announcement Friday the minimum wage will increase to $10.20 an hour on June 1. Another increase is scheduled for Oct. 1, bringing minimum wage to $10.35 per hour.

“The new rates take into account both the interests of employers and employees,” Sherry said.

“As well, the increase reflects a stronger and more buoyant economy and greater confidence in our prospects as a province.”

Cabinet approved the new rates based on an annual review and recommendation by the Employment Standards Board. The board held consultations with employers and employees last fall.

The current minimum wage is $10 an hour. This rate has been in effect since April 1 of 2012.

But Opposition Leader Steven Myers says this wage increase does not really help Islanders who must work for minimum wage.

He said a better way to help low and middle income Islanders would be to raise the basic personal tax exemption for Islanders.

This has not been done since 2008. By leaving it untouched, Islanders have been paying incrementally higher taxes every year for the last six years because it doesn't increase with inflation.

In P.E.I., the basic amount one can claim before paying tax is $7,708, which is the lowest in the country.

“Taxes are killing people,” Myers said.

“If people had more money in their pockets, they’d spend it and that money would help our economy grow.”

Myers says raising the minimum wage hurts businesses and only really helps government.

“When the minimum wage goes up, the tax (revenue) goes up so ends up getting more money in (Finance Minister Wes Sheridan’s) coffers, so it’s just another way to tax money out of businesses, now he’s just doing it through the lowest incomes in Prince Edward Island,” Myers said.

“They’re not doing them any favours at all, the raise that they’ll see will be minimal at best, they might be able to get a cup of coffee out of it.”  

The new minimum wage rates are in line with those of the other Atlantic provinces. The current rate in New Brunswick is $10 an hour, it is $10.40 in Nova Scotia for experienced workers and $9.90 for those lacking experience, and the rate in Newfoundland and Labrador will increase to $10.25 on Oct.1.

The minimum wage has increased from $7.50 an hour in 2007.

 

Geographic location: Prince Edward Island

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Recent comments

  • Wage earner
    April 14, 2014 - 03:14

    After working hard for my employer, I eventually earned a decent wage and was "capped" as they financially cannot give more. Now minimum wage earners will get this raise and I will remain "capped" until eventually leaving my employer and finding a minimum wage job will be a better option. And business wonder why staff leave. I would assume keeping mature, trained workers would be cheaper for a company then employing new recruits, training them and having them leave as soon as they are done their needed weeks, found another job or head back to school. Starting to wish I was French and had my truckers license.

  • Silly BS
    April 12, 2014 - 21:01

    Raising the min wage is NOT going to help anything. I get so much taken off my pay check that my husband who makes $2 less them me per hour take home basically the same amount of money. Thats insane to me! I want to open my own small business but every time I read stories like this make me want to move off island more and more every day and take my small business plan with me!

  • Wendy
    April 12, 2014 - 09:56

    What a shame that the current government did not take into consideration such things as non profit organizations who desperately require funding under Canada Summer Jobs. The deadline for application was in January and the funds have now been allocated based on the then minimum wage (and not a whisper of increasing for this tourist season until recently) of $10 per hour. How are these businesses/employers to find the funds to cover this shortfall?

  • Cb
    April 12, 2014 - 08:26

    Islanders need to get educated as to what this raise really means. It makes them look good to uneducated people to raise the minimum wage, but it is not done for the purpose islanders think. It ALL goes back to the government in taxes and small business in turn has to pay more payroll taxes as well. "Myers went on to say it's not that that he doesn't want people to make good wages, but that as long as Finance Minister Wes Sheridan refuses to raise the basic personal exemption on taxes, the only beneficiary of the wage increase is the government because the province will take it all back in taxes."

  • enough is enough
    April 11, 2014 - 19:55

    This is simply another tax. HST, all the fee increases now increased payroll tax. People need more than this amount but this is a simple "Roundabout" tac increase.

  • Sheena Bernard
    April 11, 2014 - 15:07

    11.50 would of been a raise to talk about

  • Snuffles
    April 11, 2014 - 14:41

    Wow Janice do you really think your making headway here or for that matter impressing Islanders I strongly believe the wages have to go higher than this for a normal Islander to survive. I mean we have some of the highest prices for fuel and home heating also groceries.what really frustrates me is the islanders that heat there home with propane your government along with IRAC Jack the price through the roof to help pay off the provinces debt and to also fill your guys pockets. Every WORKING Islander should be making at least $15-$16 a hour no wonder there's men and women fleeing the province to head out west ya just can't survive here on PEI and ya wonder why people are in DEBT.

    • don
      April 12, 2014 - 06:15

      great put the wages up to say 20.00 an hour then up goes food costs,gas,oil,power etc. do you really think they will not then u need help. they must go up to cover the costs of the pay raise. and besides you guys voted ghiz in a 2nd time knowning how bad they were the 1st ime so really you have no one to blame but the liberal voters and the back room boys of he pc party.

  • Tax payer
    April 11, 2014 - 13:21

    It still doesn't cut it Sherry we are one of the most expensive provinces to live in and with your party spending and shanigans that goes on it doesn't help things out. How about you ministers and Mr Ghiz take a huge pay cut as well to help Islanders out and also you wonder why there are Islanders leaving for out west because you can't survive on PEI with a crooked Government the books the shape they are in they will never be balanced.

  • You guess
    April 11, 2014 - 13:13

    I'm sorry but there making it sound like we meaning islanders are getting payed 20$ hr but in this case we aren't. My thoughts are that islanders are overworked and under payed.

  • suspicious
    April 11, 2014 - 12:51

    I love how the Budget was crap and then all of a sudden the minimum wage gets 2 increases in 6 months! How stupid do the Liberal Party think we are. Come on people lets vote these bums out of office the next election!!

  • WASTE OF TIME
    April 11, 2014 - 11:48

    The Government Might Think this is Good News For Every body Else Just Bad News... $6.40 Extra a Week , (Really) ! Every time The Minimum Wage Goes Up, The Hours of Week You Received Goes Down, It Has Happen the Last Few Years. So Instead of Getting 32 Hrs a Week you Will Get 31 Hrs a Week Now And More Work Load.

  • Yang Yin
    April 11, 2014 - 11:07

    $0.15 x 40 hrs = an extra $6 per week . Break out the party balloons.

  • Cb
    April 11, 2014 - 11:06

    Small business owner gets it again. You think you'll even notice that on your checks? It'll all go I taxes which is the point.

  • ItDoesn'tHelp
    April 11, 2014 - 10:46

    I don't see the point. If minimum wage goes up everything else eventually catches up until we raise minimum wage again. Such a basic idea that somehow the government completely misses? This is not a solution. It just keeps a vicious cycle running.