PEI

Minimum wage on P.E.I. means 'minimal life': Your comments

At $11.55 an hour, P.E.I.'s minimum wage is highest in the Maritimes, but is it enough to make a living in Canada's smallest province?

'It shouldn't be a luxury to live debt-free'

'You might be independently wealthy or bad at math if you think $11.55 an hour minus taxes is enough to survive on,' one reader says. (CBC)

At $11.55 an hour, P.E.I.'s minimum wage is highest in the Maritimes, but is it enough to make a living in Canada's smallest province?

The P.E.I. government is looking for input from Islanders — individuals, groups or businesses — for its annual minimum wage review.

Anyone with an opinion on whether minimum wage should stay the same — or be increased — is invited to join the conversation.

But first, many of you weighed in on CBC Prince Edward Island's Facebook page in response to Tuesday's story.

(Please note that usernames are not necessarily the names of commenters. Some comments have been altered to correct spelling and to conform to CBC style.)

'It shouldn't be a luxury to live debt-free'

"No one, single or a couple, can live on $11.55 per hour, that's way below the poverty level​," said Eileen LeClair​.

Carol Doyle said it takes two paycheques to make ends meet in 2018 and that's a big reason why "so many kids are still living with parents or moving off-Island."

Jonathan McTownsend said at one time he lived in a "cheap, closet-sized apartment" and couldn't get by on minimum-wage work.

"You might be independently wealthy or bad at math if you think $11.55 an hour minus taxes is enough to survive on," McTownsend said.

Anyone with an opinion on whether minimum wage should stay the same — or be increased — is invited to join the conversation on the government website. (Retail Council of Canada)

If you're a single person on minimum wage with two kids Cory MacDonald asked, "how are you suppose to live?"

"It's called a minimal life," he added. "That's the problem."

Shawna Ellsworth said​ "I'm sorry but I work 40 hours for $14 an hour. I'm a single mom by [the] time I pay my sitter, gas, car payment, insurances, groceries, medications for my kids, I'm broke."

Erin Elizabeth said "I don't know how anyone is expected to live in today's world off of such a small amount. I don't believe the minimum wage is being appropriately adjusted to the rising costs of living in our province. It shouldn't be a luxury to live debt-free."

Minimum wage is fine as is, some say

Raising ​minimum wage isn't a solution, said Long Tran. 

"If the government raises the minimum wages, it would raise the operational cost of the business. Commodities would increase as high as the changes of minimum wages," he said.

Wyman Moase says the current minimum wage is fine as is because it gives employers 'a lower starting point to hire new workers and provide them with some training.' (Getty Images)

Alan Wooller said raising minimum wage isn't the answer and that the province would be better off raising the exemption on the lowest tax bracket.

"Otherwise," he said, "the increase in costs will just put further people in jeopardy."

Wyman Moase said the current minimum wage is fine as is because it gives employers "a lower starting point to hire new workers and provide them with some training."

He also said "increasing the minimum wage just raises costs to businesses and that is passed on [to] the customers with increased costs."

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