Only one of five of the political leaders in P.E.I.'s provincial election made a firm commitment to increasing minimum wage at a debate sponsored by the Federation of Labour Monday night.
Moderator Craig Mackie asked the leaders if they would commit to raising the minimum wage to $17.10 by October 2016. Only the Island Party's Billy Cann gave a straight yes to the question.
Liberal Leader Robert Ghiz turned to how his government dealt with minimum wage increases. Minimum wage is due to go up to $9.60 in October, and $10 next year.
"We gave, I think it was, probably a year and a half period saying here are when the increases are going to be until we get to 10 dollars," said Ghiz.
"I think probably what we'll do is try to do that in the future."
Progressive Conservative Leader Olive Crane turned the question around to come at disposable income for low-earners from a different point of view, discussing her plan to increase the basic personal tax exemption and decrease sales tax.
"If you don't do something with the tax part you don't get to keep as much money in your pocket," said Crane.
"Our decision to decrease the PST from 10 per cent down to nine per cent in the first 120 days of our mandate, and then down to eight per cent during the whole mandate, is going to put some disposable income into Islanders' hands. In addition to that it's also going to impact on small- to medium-sized businesses."
The parties debate online at CBC.ca/peivotes Tuesday at 6:30 p.m. The topic is health care.
Green Party Leader Sharon Labchuk supported a higher minimum, but did not give specifics.
"We would certainly want to look at higher minimum wages happening very quickly," said Labchuk.
NDP Leader James Rodd suggested a broader consensus would be needed to raise the wage that high.
"It's whether or not the political will will be there to ensure that it happens," said Rodd.
Candidates from all parties face off again Tuesday night at the Culinary Institute with the focus on environmental issues.