Minimum wage increase would lessen demand on food banks

NDP Leader Lorraine Michael

As December approaches, says NDP Leader Lorraine Michael (MHA, Signal Hill-Quidi Vidi) goodhearted Newfoundlanders and Labradorians are once again being urged to participate in food drives to help replenish the stocks of provincial food banks.

A recurring theme she is hearing, both in news reports and in the constituency work of her caucus, is that the use of food banks by low income earners is on the rise. In May, the NDP launched a petition, since signed by thousands of people, calling on government to bring in the minimum wage increases its own appointed committee had recommended.

All government and Liberal MHAs in the House of Assembly voted against an NDP private member’s motion with the same demands.

“Once again it’s the season of food drives for low-income families. Food banks are reporting minimum wage earners whose paycheques don’t last two weeks, forcing them to the food bank,” Michael said in the House of Assembly today.

“Government and the official opposition both voted against my motion to follow the recommendations of the Minimum Wage Review Committee. Why won’t this government follow its own Committee’s recommendation which would keep people from having to go to food banks?”

The committee also recommended an annual automatic increase in minimum wage passed on the cost of living. “Why won’t government raise the minimum wage to catch up with inflation and index it every year so working parents can feed their families?” asked Michael.

Associated Caucus Members: 

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