P.E.I. minimum going up twice this year

P.E.I.'s minimum wage will see two increases before the end of the year.

Wage will go to $10.35 by year end

P.E.I.'s minimum wage will see two increases before the end of the year.

Environment, Labour and Justice Minister Janice Sherry in the Legislature (Province of P.E.I.)

Labour Minister Janice Sherry made the announcement Friday in the Legislature.

Sherry said the minimum wage will increase from the current $10 an hour to $10.20 on June 1, and then to $10.35 on Oct. 1.

"The new rates take into account both the interests of employers and employees," said Sherry.

"The increase reflects a stronger and more buoyant provincial economy and greater confidence in our prospects as a province."

Sherry said the new rates were approved by the provincial cabinet based on a recommendation by the Employment Standards Board. The board held consultations with employers and employees last fall.

'Artificially inflating wages'

Opposition leader Steven Myers came out against the wage hike.

Steven Myers in the Legislature (Province of P.E.I.)

"Again we see that this government thinks they can solve all problems by artificially inflating wages," said Myers.

Myers went on to say it's not that that he doesn't want people to make good wages, but that as long as Finance Minister Wes Sheridan refuses to raise the basic personal exemption on taxes, the only beneficiary of the wage increase is the government because the province will take it all back in taxes.

The last time the minimum wage increased on P.E.I. was in April of 2012.