EDITORIAL – Fears of new minimum wage adding to inflation confirmed


An editorial by Mel Rothenburger.


When the provincial government announced in April an increase to the minimum wage, I raised concerns. Normally a supporter of raises to the minimum wage, I suggested that, this time, it was too much.

It would fuel inflation, I said, because businesses would have to respond.

Well, I’ve now received a notice from a service provider that will be increasing its fees by 15 per cent on June 1, the day the new minimum wage takes effect.

The explanation is that the minimum wage is going up and the increase is necessary to maintain the current level of service. The increase equates to 6.9 per cent, not 15 per cent but I don’t fault them for it — they’re experiencing significant inflationary pressures from elsewhere, too. The minimum wage is a big factor.

The 6.9 per cent was based on the inflation rate last year, but raising the wage by that much doesn’t answer inflation, it adds to it.

I will continue to patronize this particular business because the service is excellent but it’s another case of being affected by the inflation everyone is experiencing.

The example I’ve just provided is pretty good evidence that claims by the business community that the new minimum wage will inevitably result in us having to pay more at the cash register is well founded.

And while we’re on the subject of inflation and price increases, how about that new tip policy at Starbuck’s? When you buy a decaf latte or whatever, the credit card machine now includes a prompt.

You have options of a dollar, or two dollars and so on, and the cashier politely lets you know you have to make a choice before you tap. The other day, I panicked and unthinkingly tapped on two dollars, later realizing I’d just given a 50 per cent tip for being handed a coffee.

You have to be careful out there.

I’m Mel Rothenburger, the Armchair Mayor.

Mel Rothenburger is a regular contributor to CFJC Today, publishes the opinion website, and is a recipient of the Jack Webster Foundation Lifetime Achievement Award. He has served as mayor of Kamloops, school board chair and TNRD director, and is a retired daily newspaper editor. He can be reached at

About Mel Rothenburger (9634 Articles) is a forum about Kamloops and the world. It has more than one million views. Mel Rothenburger is the former Editor of The Daily News in Kamloops, B.C. (retiring in 2012), and past mayor of Kamloops (1999-2005). At he is the publisher, editor, news editor, city editor, reporter, webmaster, and just about anything else you can think of. He is grateful for the contributions of several local columnists. This blog doesn't require a subscription but gratefully accepts donations to help defray costs.

2 Comments on EDITORIAL – Fears of new minimum wage adding to inflation confirmed

  1. What’s better for workers than a higher minimum wage? A tax on vacant land and unoccupied premises. A higher minimum wage discourages hiring. But a vacancy tax on residential property makes the owners get residential tenants (and set the rents within reach of wages), while a vacancy tax on commercial property makes the owners get business tenants, who in turn will need workers, leading to higher *market* wages and more stable jobs.

    What’s better for business than a lower minimum wage? A tax on vacant land and unoccupied premises! A lower minimum wage cuts the spending power of prospective customers, and makes it harder for prospective employees to afford housing within a manageable distance of your business. But a vacancy tax on nearby residential property keeps it populated with prospective customers and workers, while a vacancy tax on nearby commercial property keeps it populated with complementary businesses that will attract foot traffic to *your* business.

    Notice that a vacant-property tax is meant to be AVOIDED. It’s not meant to be paid. Moreover, avoidance of it would generate economic activity, expanding the bases of other taxes and allowing their rates to be cut, so that both workers and businesses would pay LESS tax!

  2. Sean McGuinness // May 18, 2023 at 1:56 PM // Reply

    15 percent increase? Get a new service provider because you’re being ripped off.

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