CFIB suggests higher minimum wage in Sask. would be harmful

A 15 dollar an hour minimum wage may not be the best idea according to the Canadian Federation of Independent Businesses.

The provincial NDP has said it will advocate for a higher minimum wage in the province if elected in the next election.

However CFIB suggested that would be a 36 per cent wage increase for Saskatchewan.

Marilyn Braun-Pollon, vice president of Prairie and Agri-business for CFIB, explained how the decision would greatly affect the retail and hospitality sectors that employ a lot of youth in the province.

“It would mean fewer opportunities for young and inexperienced people to get their foot in the door to gain valuable experience with having that first job,” said Braun-Pollon.

Another worry for CFIB is how the decision could harm small businesses and consumers.

They feel there would be significant impacts such as increased prices, reduced hirings or even people getting let go from their jobs.

Braun-Pollon believes looking at minimum wage like a one-size-fits-all approach is not a good way to view the situation.

Her suggestion for the province is they could look at other things like more training, academic upgrading or using the tax system to keep more money in workers’ pockets.

“That’s a more practical and effective way to help long-term earners,” she said. “Continuing to look for ways to reduce their income taxes that they pay but also helping them upgrade their skills.”

She feels this method would assist people who want to move up to higher jobs and keep building their careers.

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