British Columbians seem to be divided on the NDP campaign promise to bring in a $15 minimum wage.
Many are concerned the increase will cost businesses and cause a rise in inflation but Irene Lanzinger, President of the BC Federation of Labour, says inflation, at least, shouldn’t be a concern.
“There’s never any evidence of that and the fact is that wages are a small part of the economy and it’s a quarter of the workers that are going to experience those wages. The things that cause inflation are larger economic factors than the wages of 25% of people.”
And while costs do often rise, Lanzinger believes the increase is worth it.
“Are you going to have to pay a few cents more for your hamburger? Maybe but why wouldn’t we pay a few cents more so that people earn decent wages? It’s good for the economy because you now have a whole bunch of people who are earning more money, have more money in their pocket and by and large are spending that money in their local communities.”
She says the NDP promises to raise the minimum wage and create affordable childcare will go a long way toward making life in BC easier for working families.