Alberta Liberal Leader David Swann says the NDP’s proposal for increasing the minimum wage lacks balance and says the increases should be accompanied by small business tax reductions.
“Trusted leadership is about balance,” says Swann. “We have generally supported minimum wage increases. However, the NDP seem determined to raise the minimum wage on an artificial timeline without considering the impact it will have on small businesses in these hard economic times.”
Alberta Liberals have called for an economic impact study that specifically looks into the effect rapidly raising the minimum wage will have on small businesses.
“There is still time for that assessment,” says Swann. “The government, to its real credit, is taking the time to study our infrastructure plan, our climate change plan, democratic renewal and several other pressing concerns. Yet, on this file, they seem to have no interest in looking at available data or consulting with stakeholders.”
Swann is proposing that the government lower small business taxes in Alberta in order to soften the blow of this rapid increase in payroll costs. The New Democrats recently rejected a motion to lower the small business tax rate to two per cent – despite that motion having the support of all opposition parties.
“It would be a very positive way of shielding businesses from the impact of increasing their costs during this economic downturn.
“Small businesses are the key to diversifying our economy. I hope the NDP will do the right thing and support them.