EDMONTON, AB: With Seattle’s $15 minimum wage experiment resulting in disaster for low-wage workers, the NDP should conduct an economic impact study on the next jolt to the minimum wage it has planned for Alberta, the Wildrose Official Opposition said.
According to a new study from the University of Washington, Seattle’s experiment with a $15 minimum wage has led to steep declines in employment, hourly cutbacks for those lucky enough to keep their jobs and lower monthly cheques due to reductions – this, after only reaching the $13 summit on the climb to $15. The NDP, meanwhile, is set to hike Alberta’s minimum wage to $13.60 this October and $15 by 2018.
“This is a perfect example of the kind of strict ideology and disregard for common sense the NDP has brought with it into government,” Wildrose Leader Brian Jean said. “A 50 per cent minimum wage hike is too much for businesses to bear. The NDP has been given fair warning. At the very least, the government needs to conduct an economic impact study on the effects of these hikes, before it imposes any more increases.”
Wildrose Shadow Jobs Minister Glenn van Dijken said the NDP failed Alberta businesses and workers by pretending to consult on a $15 minimum wage while insisting it would increase the minimum wage to $15 no matter what it heard.
“There was never any real consultation done with businesses or workers. The NDP had its mind made up from the start,” van Dijken said. “Given Seattle offers small businesses a lower wage cost, Alberta’s regime is even less flexible and could be more punitive to low-wage workers. I hope the NDP will take this report seriously. The Alberta economy needs to catch its breath before this government implements any more destructive, ideological policies.”