Pushed by the rise in the average wage, the minimum wage is on the verge of “a significant increase”, but setting it at $ 20 an hour would create a “significant economic shock”, believes the Minister of Labor, Jean Boulet.
• Read also: Minimum wage at $ 20: good for everyone?
He reacted on Wednesday to the recent words of the chairman of the board of directors of Cogeco, Louis Audet, who wants the minimum wage to be increased significantly, to $ 20 an hour, in order to reduce social inequalities.
The minimum wage was set at $ 13.50 an hour on 1is last May, up 3.1%. The government’s target is to respect a 50% ratio between the minimum wage and the average hourly wage in Quebec.
Around 287,000 people had benefited from this increase by then.
“Obviously, with the labor shortage, that puts upward pressure on wages [moyen] and, therefore, there will certainly be a significant increase in the minimum wage taking into account this environment, ”therefore indicated the Minister of Labor, Employment and Social Solidarity, Jean Boulet, Wednesday.
But increasing it suddenly beyond the target of 50% of the average salary would “likely lead to layoffs, layoffs and the impact on dropping out of school could still be significant,” he adds. he.
However, the minister denies resistance.
“But to go from $ 13.50 an hour to $ 20 an hour, it would have economic effects that we are not able to manage currently,” he said.
Asked whether it was possible to live decently by earning $ 14 an hour, for example, Jean Boulet refused to comment.
“It depends on each person and it depends on the circumstances, but don’t forget that we must also take into account disposable income and the social safety net in Quebec is particularly well developed,” he said.