(May 26/15) The May 5 election has given Albertans their first ever NDP government. Some NDP initiatives could raise your costs and reduce your customers’ disposable income. Here are some of the party’s election promises that could impact you:
- Raise the hourly minimum wage to $15 by 2018
This move abandons the current minimum wage formula that uses CPI and average wage inflation to calculate increases. A 50 per cent increase in minimum wage over three years would force businesses to raise prices or cut labour to stay viable. This would contradict the party’s priority to create jobs.
- Job creation tax credit
This promise is potentially good news to help offset higher labour costs.
- Family-friendly work standards
A review of the province’s Employment Standards Act will aim to improve work standards for working families. This includes better compassionate care leaves and time off for family responsibilities.
- Increase corporate taxes from 10% to 12%
- Progressive “high-earner” income tax brackets
Income above $125,000 will be taxed at progressively higher rates, which takes a bite out of consumers’ disposable income.
- No provincial sales tax
This is good news. However, municipalities may be allowed to introduce their own forms of taxation. This could raise taxes and the administrative burden for business owners in various Alberta municipalities.
Restaurants Canada congratulated Premier Rachel Notley on her victory. We told her how important it is to partner with Alberta’s restaurant industry to grow the economy and jobs. We also outlined our members’ concerns with some of her election promises.
We‘ll keep you informed of any new government policies that affect your business.