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Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 14 posts ] 
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 Post subject: Green Party Releases Platform
PostPosted: March 22nd, 2015, 10:09 am 
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Joined: January 3rd, 2009, 1:04 pm
Posts: 750
http://www.theguardian.pe.ca/News/Local/2015-03-20/article-4084353/P.E.I.-Green-party-releases-full-election-platform/1

Platform or Punishment.

Everytime there has been an increase in minimum wage, it has been paired with an increase in costs to many services provided by minimum wage earners. One needs to look no further than the cost of a Tim Horton’s Coffee. Minimum wage goes up and a coffee is 5-10 cents more within the month. Businesses refuse and will likely always refuse to bear the brunt of this expense, instead passing it to the consumer. The result, the minimum wage earner has the exact same buying power they had before the wage increase. Meanwhile, those making more than minimum wage don’t see their wages rise as fast. As a result, they have less buying power, shrinking the already dying middle class and increasing the numbers of the lower class (fiscally speaking). Add to this the increase in cost of fossil fuels at $15 per $1200 litre approx., and a family that spends $45 more a year for 3 tanks of oil, will be expected to spend $2400 instead to install a heat pump? On top of this, Bevan-Baker believes he has the magic bullet to lower health wait times. He is going to make student loans interest free. And still balance the budget, despite the only income he is showing is some of that $15 fuel tax that people will never see, an increase on income tax collected from the lower wage earners. We will never have access to the big money of oil, because somehow, he is going to ban exploration in what has already be described as federal jurisdiction. On top of this, we are going to have to pay for a public inquiry into a program that has been dead for a couple of years and where a public release of all the companies who got money has already been made. A program the RCMP and CBSA have both investigated and decided not to lay charges on. So the inquiry will be able to tell us some rules have been broken and it was poorly run, essentially exactly what has already been determined.

I believe a lot of people would love to see a viable alternative to the parties we have now. I just don’t believe people will vote to cut their nose off, just to spite their face.


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 Post subject: Re: Green Party Releases Platform
PostPosted: March 22nd, 2015, 10:38 am 
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True Islander

Joined: August 23rd, 2005, 11:52 am
Posts: 11991
Location: Summerside
The last time Tim's raised coffee prices it was more because of higher costs for coffee beans, not minimum wage increases. And it's not minimum wage increases that is killing the middle class.

As for the increase in oil costs, the Green party platform indicates that most households will receive more money than what they pay for in increased energy costs.

Anyway, nobody, not even the Greens, expect to form the next government. But having a few people elected from other parties will add new voices that are desperately needed in our legislature.


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 Post subject: Re: Green Party Releases Platform
PostPosted: March 22nd, 2015, 11:39 am 
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Joined: September 28th, 2007, 12:45 pm
Posts: 1049
There are some proposals here that I could get behind, but balanced budget legislation is just plain foolish. It's been tried elsewhere and goes one of two ways. Either it gets completely ignored or cleverly bypassed when push comes to shove, or the government does stupidly hurtful things trying to live up to it when a serious economic crisis happens.
In Canada we tend to ignore it, which is the less dangerous of the two, and I think the Greens would probably do that. So I'm not worried about the consequences. What worries me is whether on the one hand they understand the nature of government finances so poorly that they think this would work, or on the other hand they're so cynical that they'd be willing to put this up just to pander to the concern people have about debt and deficits. Neither speaks well of them.


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 Post subject: Re: Green Party Releases Platform
PostPosted: March 22nd, 2015, 2:46 pm 
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Joined: January 3rd, 2009, 1:04 pm
Posts: 750
craiger wrote:
The last time Tim's raised coffee prices it was more because of higher costs for coffee beans, not minimum wage increases. And it's not minimum wage increases that is killing the middle class.

As for the increase in oil costs, the Green party platform indicates that most households will receive more money than what they pay for in increased energy costs.

Anyway, nobody, not even the Greens, expect to form the next government. But having a few people elected from other parties will add new voices that are desperately needed in our legislature.


I disagree, I believe that Minimum wage increase have definitely contributed to loss of the middle class. The simple fact is, when you increase minimum wages, it is an increase in cost to businesses. Rich business people do not absorb this cost, because they don't have to. They pass it on. Everytime minimum wage has gone up, so have the cost of most services provided by minimum wage workers. Yes Tim's went up due to the increase in the cost of coffee, but they have also gone up previously each time within a month of a minimum wage increase.

A wage increase from $10 to $10.50 an hour does not seem like much, but equates to a 5% raise. When most of the services provided by minimum wage earners are increased to compensate, and then the increase of everything else, they get a raise and are left with no more buying power then they had before. Meanwhile, most workers making more than minimum wages have been lucky to see a 1% increase a year. I know I am unionized and can't remember the last time I got more than 1.5% in a year, and that was a good year. That has the middle class losing buying power. The middle class makes up most of the purchasing in the economy, so when the middle class loses buying power, you have some moving into the lower economic class and shrinkage in the economy, or the build up of personal debt.

A much better plan to help the lower economic class would be for the provincial personal Income tax exemption to be raised. This hasn't been done in years and as a result we have one of the lowest in the country. This would put more money in people's pockets without adding a cost to business. As a result, people have more buying power, and tend to spend more. The loss in income tax would be offset by a higher return on the Provincial portion of the HST, more taxes on business profits, and the higher spending may result in growing of the economy providing more jobs.

It should also be noted the Green Party did not say people would get more back then the increase. Probably because as they stated the province is going to keep some, that would make no sense at all. They said they would return most of the money to the people to help offset cost increases. People will still pay out with this plan.


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 Post subject: Re: Green Party Releases Platform
PostPosted: March 22nd, 2015, 2:57 pm 
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Joined: January 3rd, 2009, 1:04 pm
Posts: 750
sentance wrote:
There are some proposals here that I could get behind, but balanced budget legislation is just plain foolish. It's been tried elsewhere and goes one of two ways. Either it gets completely ignored or cleverly bypassed when push comes to shove, or the government does stupidly hurtful things trying to live up to it when a serious economic crisis happens.
In Canada we tend to ignore it, which is the less dangerous of the two, and I think the Greens would probably do that. So I'm not worried about the consequences. What worries me is whether on the one hand they understand the nature of government finances so poorly that they think this would work, or on the other hand they're so cynical that they'd be willing to put this up just to pander to the concern people have about debt and deficits. Neither speaks well of them.


I agree with you on the balanced budget legislation. Seems like an empty promise that they figure they can make cause they have no chance of getting elected. The problem is, when you act like that, it becomes a self fulfilling prophecy. We don't just need new voices elected, but we need voices with viable solutions. This province currently has no huge money making primary industry capable of delivering routinely balanced budgets. Alberta has huge oil reserves and balanced budget legislation. They are saying they will run a $5B long term debt because of the slow down. Promising something that can't be delivered by anyone is reckless at best. As you mention, in economically tough times, it is dangerous. If you are going to promise a legislated balanced budget, announce exactly what services are going to be cut to deliver this.


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 Post subject: Re: Green Party Releases Platform
PostPosted: March 22nd, 2015, 2:59 pm 
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Almost an Islander

Joined: November 16th, 2014, 12:56 am
Posts: 286
So you are saying that because of a 15 cent per hour raise in minimum wage on PEI Tim Hortons adjusted their entire National pricing?


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 Post subject: Re: Green Party Releases Platform
PostPosted: March 22nd, 2015, 3:09 pm 
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Joined: January 3rd, 2009, 1:04 pm
Posts: 750
Blake McKinley wrote:
So you are saying that because of a 15 cent per hour raise in minimum wage on PEI Tim Hortons adjusted their entire National pricing?


Minimum wage has been going up across the country. And Tim's was just an example. Prices have gone up at all services provided by minimum wage workers, including local service providers. Businesses will not absorb these cost increases so they are passed on, on top of other increases in the cost of doing business.


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 Post subject: Re: Green Party Releases Platform
PostPosted: March 22nd, 2015, 3:17 pm 
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Almost an Islander

Joined: November 16th, 2014, 12:56 am
Posts: 286
If your example is false then your entire argument is in question.

Can you name one time where Tim Horton's prices went up on PEI in direct correlation to a raise in the minimum wage?


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 Post subject: Re: Green Party Releases Platform
PostPosted: March 22nd, 2015, 3:53 pm 
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Joined: January 3rd, 2009, 1:04 pm
Posts: 750
Blake McKinley wrote:
If your example is false then your entire argument is in question.

Can you name one time where Tim Horton's prices went up on PEI in direct correlation to a raise in the minimum wage?


The 2nd last increase in the price of Tim's coffee was 2 weeks after a Minimum wage increase. I did not say my example was false. Tim's, like many other service industry costs, have increased almost immediately following every minimum wage increase. Simply because business owners refuse to allow this increase in cost to eat into their profits. As such, the wealthiest have not see any decrease in their buying power. The Lowest economic class have not seen any change. The lower middle class are joining the lower class. the rest of the middle class have seen a decrease in their buying power.


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 Post subject: Re: Green Party Releases Platform
PostPosted: March 22nd, 2015, 4:47 pm 
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Almost an Islander

Joined: November 16th, 2014, 12:56 am
Posts: 286
The second last increase was a national increase with the exception of Ontario.
I highly doubt that any relationship with our minimum wage is anything other than coincidental.
Wages are only one operating cost. To say that businesses adjust their pricing in direct relationship to minimum wage increases is false.
Energy costs and cost of goods have increased far more on a percentage basis. I don't see retailers raising their prices every time the price of gas and oil goes up.


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 Post subject: Re: Green Party Releases Platform
PostPosted: March 22nd, 2015, 9:51 pm 
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Almost an Islander

Joined: June 13th, 2013, 8:53 am
Posts: 313
Why would Tim Hortons ignore (minimum) wage increases?

When they decide to increase prices or make the donuts smaller etc, they would take into account everything possible which would include wage inflation.

I mean if they have someone working at the store making say $1 above min wage and then min wage increases say 15 cents, that person would expect a 15 cent increase in pay as well as the min wage worker.

While the cost of a single employee wage going up is not significant, when they have I assume thousands of employees all going up a certain amount on average over time due to wage inflation (mostly due to min wage law in their industry) it would impact their decision making.

They have profit margin to maintain/maximize and min wages going up does not help them in any way, thus one of many reasons to increase prices.

In the news article they did not define what the new min wage would be under livable wage. If it's another one of the "drastically increase min wage" suggestions it would not fix any problems.
There are better ways to help min wage workers than increasing min wage
(more tax exemptions, job training, education etc).


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 Post subject: Re: Green Party Releases Platform
PostPosted: March 22nd, 2015, 10:32 pm 
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True Islander

Joined: August 23rd, 2005, 11:52 am
Posts: 11991
Location: Summerside
balkoth wrote:
There are better ways to help min wage workers than increasing min wage (more tax exemptions, job training, education etc).

The Green Party has more suggestions than just a livable wage for eliminating poverty.

And back to the Tim Horton's examples. If minimum wage has such a big impact on Tim Horton's prices, why is a coffee presumably the same price in Fort McMurray where worker's make at least $2.50 more per hour than in Charlottetown?


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 Post subject: Re: Green Party Releases Platform
PostPosted: March 23rd, 2015, 3:05 pm 
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Almost an Islander

Joined: June 13th, 2013, 8:53 am
Posts: 313
http://www.fortmcmurraytoday.com/2014/1 ... sandwiches
"price of a medium cup of coffee to $1.70 including tax.” at fort mac. No idea how much it is on PEI.


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 Post subject: Re: Green Party Releases Platform
PostPosted: March 23rd, 2015, 3:42 pm 
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Joined: January 3rd, 2009, 1:04 pm
Posts: 750
I should have used any example other than Tim Horton's, because like most typical Islanders, once Tim Horton's is mentioned, they lose site of the argument and focus on coffee.

For comparison sake, minimum wage in Alberta is $10.20 an hour. Alberta, mostly due to oil, has managed to grow its economy though. As a result, they have created so many jobs there is a labour shortage. This has result in very few people having to work for minimum wage. This is the correct way to increase wages, and what PEI should be striving for. If we grow our economy, we can create jobs and raise wages without having to rely on an artificially increased minimum wage. Then employers will be required to pay EVERYONE more money. This is the scenario that forces employers to pay wages out of profits as it creates more competition. If Tim's charged $8 for a coffee, people would just make it at home. If they are paying $10.20 here and $17 in Alberta, they obviously have the room to pay more. Our lack of growth in the economy and jobs means they don't have to.


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