June 28, 2017
If the Atlantic Institute for Market Studies (AIMS) has its way, minimum wage earners in New Brunswick will be waiting a long time before they see an increase.
According to the Halifax-based think tank, modestly self described on its website as “one of the most highly regarded think tanks in North America” (their award-winning track record is “a feat unprecedented in the world”), minimum wage earners should eschew rate increases in favour of government action that would decrease the cost of living and increase the purchasing power of the existing wage. In particular AIMS wants government to: remove trade barriers, phase out the national supply management system and reduce payroll taxes.
This predictable neoliberal prescription is unlikely to produce any immediate (or intermediate) relief to the 6.6 percent of wage-earners in the province who work for $11 an hour. Over the last 10 years the percentage of N.B. workers earning the minimum wage has increased by almost 60 percent, from 4.2 percent to 6.6 percent.