Thursday October 23, 2014

QUESTION OF THE WEEK

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Minimum wage to increase 20 cents per hour October 1

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The Government of Saskatchewan will increase the province's minimum wage from $10 to $10.20 per hour effective October 1, 2014 and will soon introduce regulations to provide for regular indexing of the minimum wage each year.

"Increasing the minimum wage will give minimum wage earners more disposable income and improve their standard of living," Labour Relations and Workplace Safety Minister Don Morgan said. "Indexation of the minimum wage will provide security for minimum wage earners and ensure predictability for business owners in the province. Since 2007, we have increased the minimum wage in Saskatchewan six times and have gone from $7.95 to $10.20. That's 28 per cent, which is well ahead of the rate of inflation."

Highlights of the new minimum wage regulation will include:

Indexation formula will be based on the equal weighting of the percentage changes in the Consumer Price Index and Average Hourly Wage for the previous year.

A change in the minimum wage will be announced on or before June 30 of each year, with that change coming in effect on October 1 of the same year.

The Government of Saskatchewan has reduced the tax burden on minimum wage earners by increasing the basic personal, spousal and child benefits and by creating the Saskatchewan Low Income Tax Credit, removing about 112,000 people from the tax rolls. Individual taxpayers now pay no Saskatchewan income tax on their first $18,650 of income while a family of four pays no Saskatchewan income tax on their first $48,320 of income - the highest tax-free income threshold for a family of four in Canada.


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