Canada’s Financial Accountability Office of Ontario says a planned $15 / hr minimum wage hike by 2019 is a ‘weak weapon in the war on poverty,’ and could result in a net loss of 50,000 jobs.
The independent watchdog group, established by Ontario’s Financial Accountability Officer Act of 2013, gave the conservative estimate – adding that job losses could be “larger than the FAO’s estimate.”
[T]here is evidence to suggest that the job losses could be larger than the FAO’s estimate,” the FAO said. “Ontario’s proposed minimum wage increase is both larger and more rapid than past experience, providing businesses with a greater incentive to reduce costs more aggressively –Financial Post
This stunning admission from a liberal government-mandated independent think tank validates the argument against the “fight for $15” minimum wage hike endorsed by Hillary Clinton during the 2016 election.
Won’t help low income families
The FAO also said that “higher minimum wages are not an effective way to alleviate poverty,” as a paltry 27 percent would reach low income households. Instead, most of the benefits would flow to those above the low-income cutoff.
“As a result, the income gains from Ontario’s proposed minimum wage increase would be relatively broadly distributed across all households and not concentrated on low-income families,” the FAO said. “Since minimum wages target low-wage workers, but not necessarily low-income families, raising the minimum wage would be an inefficient policy tool for reducing overall poverty.”
Ontario government defends the hike
Ontario’s very liberal government claims the province’s strong economy allows them to increase the minimum wage, along with a host of new labor and employment reforms, such as mandated sick days for workers.
“We don’t believe that anyone in Ontario who works full time should be struggling to pay their rent, put food on their tables or care for their families — especially when the provincial economy is doing so well,” provincial Labour Minister Kevin Flynn said, adding “The moral and economic evidence supporting this fundamental belief is without question. We will not back down from this commitment.”
Canadian conservatives warn of catastrophe
While liberal Premier Kathleen Wynne’s government says the bump in Ontario’s minimum wage will help low income workers, conservative leader Patrick Brown said “When it comes to the increasing minimum wage, they’re giving Ontario businesses two options: lay off staff or raise prices. Some businesses will have no choice but to do both.”If you enjoy the content at iBankCoin, please follow us on Twitter