Nova Scotia’s Minimum Wage Review Committee has recommended staying the course on planned increases for minimum wage earners. The committee of two employer and two employee representatives recommends the annual increase proceed, which would raise minimum wage to $8.60 from $8.10 per hour on April 1. “Steadily increasing the minimum wage is the right thing to do for working families and individuals who are trying to build a career and contribute to society,” said Mark Parent, Minister of Labour and Workforce Development. “I am pleased that the committee has reaffirmed its recommendation that the minimum wage be increased.” Mr. Parent asked, in light of current economic conditions, that the committee continue to monitor the minimum wage. He also asked the committee to look at minimum wage increases and tip differential for workers in the restaurant and bar industry. The committee was not able to reach consensus on a tip or gratuity differential, which is a lower minimum wage for servers in licensed establishments. The review committee’s report has been posted on the Labour and Workforce Development website and is open for comment. The committee recommended continuing the following plan of minimum wage increases: May 1, 2008: 6.5 per cent increase to $8.10 per hour April 1, 2009: 6.2 per cent increase to $8.60 per hour April 1, 2010: 6.9 per cent increase to $9.20 per hour. Oct. 1, 2010: 4.8 per cent increase to $9.65 per hour. The plan is to reach the Low Income Cut-off Level by 2010. The committee will continue to meet annually to monitor economic indicators and examine other issues. The public is encouraged to comment on the report by March 2. For an English copy of the report, visit www.gov.ns.ca/lwd . A French copy will be posted by Feb. 16.