NL NDP Leader Earle McCurdy says the increase to the province’s minimum wage announced today is “a baby step in the right direction,” but will leave low income earners struggling to keep up with little hope of ever getting out of poverty.
“Minimum wage earners in Newfoundland and Labrador will continue to be among the lowest-paid in the country, at least until April when the first increase is slated to come into effect, and possibly longer, depending on what other provinces do in the meantime,” McCurdy said today.
“A decent minimum wage is an integral part of an economic strategy and on this point, as on so many others, government is failing the people of the province.”
McCurdy added this year’s review process was completely inadequate; it failed to include any opportunity for public input. Indeed, he says, nobody was even aware that a review was underway until the minister was surprised into saying so during Question Period.
The NL NDP has asked questions and introduced petitions calling for an increased minimum wage on virtually a daily basis in this session of the House of Assembly. In response to government’s stated intention to conduct consultations concerning a plan to adopt an ongoing inflationary adjustment to the minimum wage, McCurdy said these consultations should include a full analysis of what people need to live on.
““The starting point is critical before future minimum wage increases are tied to cost of living adjustments,” he said. “If the starting point is a poverty-level income, these workers will never catch up with what they need to make a decent living.”
To contact Earle McCurdy, phone 739-6387 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org