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Minimum wage increase Oct. 1

By Robin Dudgeon, Portage Daily Graphic



On Friday the Province of Manitoba announced that minimum wage will be going up to $10.25 per hour on Oct. 1.

The increase was detailed in the Budget 2012. The last minimum wage increase was up $0.50 to $10.00 per hour on Oct. 1, 2011.

"We continue to boost the purchasing power of minimum-wage earners and this move can also benefit business as it helps attract and keep workers," said Howard. "We have one of the most robust labour markets in the country, revenues continue to rise in many sectors, including restaurant and retail, and increasing the minimum wage has not hurt employment," said Family Services and Labour minister Jennifer Howard in a press release.

The Labour Management Review Committee (LMRC) recommended three annual increases, but the committee members could not agree on the amount those increases should be.

The 2012 increase pus Manitoba above the average Canadian minimum wage. There are seven other provinces that are also planning minimum wage increases in 2012.

"In addition to minimum wage increases, the Manitoba government is making changes that will help keep more income in workers' pockets," said Howard in a press release. "The amount of income a person can earn before they start paying income tax is being increased by $1,000 over four years, reaching $9,134 in 2014."

In Portage la Prairie the minimum wage increase is being well received. Alex Bollman, who works at Dairy Queen, thinks it is a positive move.

“I think it’s great. I think with the way the economy is going that minimum wage needs to go up at least a little bit every year,” said Bollman.

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