ST. JOHN’S – Today, NDP Leader Alison Coffin reaffirmed New Democrats’ commitment to a 15 dollar an hour minimum wage, saying the increase is good for workers and the local economy.
“People just can’t afford a decent life with the current minimum wage. We’re hearing from single moms working two and three jobs just to keep a roof over their heads and put food on the table,” said Coffin. “The Liberals and Conservatives keep working for the same old boys’ club while everyday people fall further behind. New Democrats are going to make different choices to make life more affordable for you and your family.”
While the New Democrats’ goal is to work toward a living wage, this increase is an important and necessary first step especially for women who make up 66 per cent of the province’s minimum wage earners.
“No one who works a 40-hour week should be living in poverty. When workers earn a little more money, they take their kids out to eat. They buy new school clothes. They spend that extra money at businesses in their communities,” said Coffin. “This money doesn’t sit in a stock portfolio; it gets redistributed and that’s good for everyone.”
In a province-wide survey commissioned this fall, 91 per cent of respondents were supportive of a 15 dollar an hour minimum wage.
“Tough financial times are coming and the cost of living will go up. It’s time to decide, are we going to let people who are already struggling continue to suffer or are we going to take better care of each other?” asked Coffin. “The Liberals’ and Conservatives’ plan is to cut public services people rely on and continue to leave people to figure things out on their own. We’re going to fight for families to have a more affordable life in Newfoundland and Labrador.”