Good, I guess
PC Leader Doug Ford has announced if the Progressive Conservatives win the spring election they will freeze minimum wage at $14 and offer a “zero per cent tax” for minimum wage earners.
While it might seem like a crazy move, it makes some sense politically.
Before its implementation, the debate over minimum wage had businesses lamenting that the increase to $15 an hour would only help the government to bring in more tax revenue.
Ford’s move suggests he is hoping to appeal to businesses since, according to Canadian Revenue Agency 2015 statistics, two-thirds of minimum wage earners did not pay any income tax, while the rest averaged paying around $485.
While a tax credit would not help businesses directly, a wage freeze at $14 would. It’s not a surprise that this is part of the PC’s election platform. Ford campaigned on that when he ran for leadership.
At least he’s offering something in return for the wage freeze. Which is good, I guess.
This week Ontario PC party leader Doug Ford announced that if his government wins the provincial election this spring minimum wage earners won’t have to pay provincial taxes as of Jan. 1, 2019.
The minimum wage would stay at $14/an hour, rather than increasing to the Liberals’ promised $15.
While undoubtedly appealing to minimum wage earners, the announcement begs a question or two.
What about the services those taxes help pay for? The party says the tax credit will benefit 623,000 workers and cost $500 million per year. Will Ontario workers who are making more than minimum wage be expected to cover that missing half a billion dollars through higher income tax rates?
The PC Party says a typical full-time minimum wage earner will save $800 a year, according to CBC. However, if the minimum wage was raised to $15 from $14, that same worker would be earning $2,080 more in income.
Following through with the minimum wage increase seems like the better deal all around.