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Business group urges province to rethink minimum wage hike

Back the minimum wage truck up, the Canadian Federation of Independent Business says.

Back the minimum wage truck up, the Canadian Federation of Independent Business says.

The group representing small businesses is asking the Nova Scotia government to rethink its plan to raise the minimum wage, which has already jumped to $8.60 per hour from $7.60 since last spring, and will increase to $9.65 by next fall.

“It’s not that our members are against minimum wage increases,” Leanne Hachey, vice-president of the federation’s Atlantic branch, said yesterday. “It’s that these are really hefty increases that are coming during a recession.”

The four increases over two years amount to a 27 per cent pay raise for minimum wage workers, she said.

“It’s a real and nasty combination of businesses seeing their bottom lines shrinking at the same time that they’re seeing their costs increase. Something’s got to give,” Hachey said.

She said the province should consider implementing tax relief to offset the increases, so both businesses and employees can take more pay home.

“In Ontario, they actually reduced the small business tax rate in conjunction with an increase in minimum wage,” she said.

Hachey submitted 1,600 faxes from businesses across the province to Labour and Workforce Development Minister Mark Parent late last week, explaining the wage hikes could mean price increases and staff layoffs, a news release says.

 
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