Small Biz Pushes Manitoba to Freeze Minimum Wage

Small Biz Pushes Manitoba to Freeze Minimum Wage

Small BusinessWINNIPEG — An organization representing the province’s small businesses is calling on the Manitoba government to hold the line on further increases to the minimum wage.

The Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB) has released a new survey, showing there are better ways to help low-income earners, such as additional income tax relief and improving training opportunities.

“Our survey results show that 11 minimum wage increases in the previous 10 years have negatively impacted small business growth and employment. How would another increase be any different?” said Jonathan Alward, CFIB director of provincial affairs for Manitoba.

The CFIB says 80 percent of small businesses in Manitoba disagree that increasing the minimum wage will improve employee retention. Five percent agreed it would, while 15 percent were undecided.

The survey also found 81 percent of Manitoba business owners disagreed that government-mandated minimum wages are the best way to increase employment and wages for low-income earners. Ten percent agreed, while nine percent were undecided.

“Given the obvious shortcomings of minimum wage policy, government shouldn’t consider increasing the minimum wage until it has exhausted its ability to assist low-income earners through tax relief and training initiatives — especially for key sectors affected by minimum wage policy, such as accommodation/food services and retail,” Alward added.

Manitoba’s current minimum wage is $11/hour.

Additional highlights from the survey can be found on the CFIB website.