TORONTO – Green Party of Ontario Leader Mike Schreiner says the Liberal government should follow today’s passage of legislation increasing the minimum wage by immediately lowering labour costs for small businesses.
The GPO plan to raise the exemption level for the Employer Health Tax from $450,000 to $1,000,000 in payroll would automatically and immediately benefit small businesses, and they wouldn’t have to fill out paperwork to apply or wait until they file their taxes.
“Payroll tax reductions help small businesses by immediately lowering labour costs, improving their monthly cash flow and creating incentives to create jobs,” said Schreiner. “Lower labour costs help businesses create more jobs and better paying jobs.”
The Liberals’ corporate tax cut isn’t enough to help small businesses cope with the hike in the minimum wage, but it helps them maximize their profits, even if they do that by cutting jobs, warned Schreiner.
The Green Party is the only real voice for small businesses in Ontario.
“It’s clear there are two parties of big business and one party of no business at Queen’s Park,” said Schreiner. “Only the Green Party has a balanced plan that supports a living wage for workers and gives their employers immediate help to offset the cost of the increased minimum wage.”
The GPO supports the legislated increases in the minimum wage, to $14 an hour Jan. 1, 2018 and $15 in 2019, but would also like to see increases in social assistance rates to help Ontario’s most vulnerable residents.
“Both policies would inject more money into local economies, benefitting local businesses,” said Schreiner. “We are the only party advocating for a balanced approach, supporting a decent living wage for workers and lower payroll taxes for their employers.”
The Green Party of Ontario is made up of real people who simply want to make the world a better place.