Ontario government putting youth jobs in jeopardy

TORONTO, Nov. 26, 2015 /CNW/ - The Ontario government's plan to move forward with the Ontario Retirement Pension Plan (ORPP) without amending the contribution age will hurt the most vulnerable segment of the work force – young people.

This decision comes just a day after economist Jack Mintz, who previously advised the Liberal government on HST, stated, "We don't need a big, fat pension plan in Ontario."

"Restaurants Canada requested an increase in contribution age from 18 to 25," said James Rilett, Restaurants Canada Vice-President, Ontario. "That would help protect youth jobs, and enable young people to save for and contribute to their education, while leaving employers more money to create first-time jobs."

If ORPP is introduced, employers in the restaurant industry will pay an extra $78 million in payroll taxes a year.

On average, the ORPP would cost a young person working in a part-time job $300 a year. Raising the contribution age to 25 would have a nominal impact on their future pension income, and would have the valuable impact of helping them get the work experience they need now.

Ontario's youth unemployment rate is stuck at 14.6%, almost three times the adult rate. 28% of unemployed youth have never held a job of any kind.

Restaurants in Ontario directly employ more than 458,000 people in Ontario, 6.7% of the province's workforce. Nearly 200,000 of those people are between the ages of 15 and 24, which represents one in five youth jobs in Ontario.

"We all know how hard it can be for teenagers to find their first jobs," said Rilett. "The ORPP will make it even harder."

Restaurants Canada is a growing community of 30,000 foodservice businesses, including restaurants, bars, caterers, institutions and suppliers. We connect our members from coast to coast, through services, research and advocacy for a strong and vibrant restaurant industry. Canada's restaurant industry directly employs 1.2 million Canadians, is the number one source of first jobs, and serves 18 million customers every day.

SOURCE Restaurants Canada

For further information: James Rilett, Vice President, Ontario, cell 416-738-9546 or jrilett@restaurantscanada.org; Beth Pollock, Communications Specialist, 1-800-387-5649 ext. 4254, or media@restaurantscanada.org

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