B.C. restaurateurs struggling with arbitrary hikes to minimum wage

VANCOUVER, Sept. 15, 2016 /CNW/ - The B.C. government has gone back on its 2015 commitment to link future minimum wage increases to the Consumer Price Index – today's 3.8 per cent hike is more than twice the rate of inflation.

"We asked the government to leave the politics aside and tie increases to objective economic indicators for a more predictable business environment," said Mark von Schellwitz, Restaurants Canada's Vice President, Western Canada. "Restaurateurs support their entry-level staff's wages keeping up with the cost of living, but are tired of minimum wage being thrown around like a political football. The result is arbitrary increases that are not backed up by any objective economic rationale."

Today, the province's general minimum wage and liquor server wage increased by 40 cents from $10.45 to $10.85, and $9.20 to $9.60, respectively. Next September, the minimum wage will climb another 40 cents from $10.85 to $11.25. The liquor server wage, which recognizes the significant income servers earn from tips, will also rise by the same amount, from $9.60 to $10, in 2017.

While the 2016 minimum wage increase is higher than expected, there is minimum wage certainty for 2017. The minimum wage announcement earlier this year also included $2.88 million in targeted new job training supports and a one per cent reduction in the small business tax rate from 2.5% to 1.5% for 2017, which will offer some relief to restaurant businesses.

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. British Columbia's restaurant industry directly employs 172,00 British Columbians and has total annual sales of $12 billion.

SOURCE Restaurants Canada

Image with caption: "Restaurants Canada (CNW Group/Restaurants Canada)". Image available at: http://photos.newswire.ca/images/download/20160915_C3730_PHOTO_EN_774567.jpg

For further information: MEDIA CONTACTS: Mark von Schellwitz, Vice-President Western Canada at 604-685-9655 or mvonschellwitz@restaurantscanada.org; Prasanthi Vasanthakumar, Communications Specialist at 1-800-387-5649 ext. 4254, or media@restaurantscanada.org.


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