Government on reckless path with big minimum wage hikes

CFIB analysis shows BC min wage on path to rise 3.3 times faster than inflation between 2005 and 2021; Call for impact analysis to be made public prior to further increases.

VANCOUVER, June 7, 2018 – Following on the heels of the June 1st $1.30 increase to the provincial minimum wage as the first step toward $15.20 an hour by 2021, the Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB) today is challenging the BC Government to publicly release economic impact analysis on this aggressive new policy direction. 

The CFIB also called for an immediate halt to any further increases until the Government can show it has done its homework about the effect on employment and the economy. 

New data released by the CFIB clearly shows the minimum wage is on an unsustainable path in BC, increasing 3.3 times faster than inflation over the period 2005 to 2021. 

“Big hikes in the cost of entry-level jobs over the past few years have put a growing number of small businesses in a big squeeze. This steep and costly trajectory defies economic logic and simply cannot continue without a growing number of independent businesses getting squashed”, stated Richard Truscott, Vice-President, BC and Alberta.

Using Statistics Canada and Bank of Canada data, the Federation’s new analysis shows the stark reality: inflation will rise by about 27 per cent from 2005 to 2021, while the minimum wage is set to skyrocket by 90 per cent, approximately 3.3 times faster.

“The small business community will be scrambling to cope with such a massive increase in payroll expenses over the next three years. Business owners providing liquor server jobs are facing even bigger jumps. The BC Government is putting small business between a rock and a hard place, forcing them on one hand to cut jobs, hours, and costs, while scrambling to increase prices on the other. Both are terrible options for small, independent business that typically operate on razor-thin margins and in highly competitive markets”, said Truscott.

Truscott concluded by asking: “Where is the economic impact analysis? What will be the impact on entry-level jobs? Will there be any discernible impact on take-home pay? There is a growing list of critical questions that policy makers cannot avoid. Until they have much more informed answers, government must put the brakes on any further rate hikes.”

For more information, or to arrange an interview with Richard Truscott, Vice-President, BC and Alberta, please call 604-684-5325 after 8.30AM PT. 

CFIB is Canada’s largest association of small- and medium-sized businesses with 110,000 members across every sector and region, including 10,000 in BC.