The Living Wage for Families Campaign, in conjunction with the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives (CCPA), today released its annual recalculation of Metro Vancouver’s living wage: : $19.62/hour. This announcement coincides with the publication of new living wage calculations by two First Call partners; Community Social Planning Council of Victoria in Greater Victoria ($18.73/hour) and Living Wage Fraser Valley ($16.37/hour).
Metro Vancouver’s living wage is calculated as the hourly rate at which a family with two full-time earners and two young children can meet its basic expenses (including rent, childcare, food and transportation)once government taxes, credits, deductions and subsidies have been taken into account. Watch updated First Call video for details.
2013’s new living wage is 48 cents more than 2012’s $19.14/hour, an increase of 2.5% – almost double Vancouver’s current inflation rate of 1.3%, with transportation, childcare and food costs some of the big drivers behind the increase. For example, transportation costs in 2013 jumped by $28 per month (due to increases in the costs of owning and operating a car and a 13% hike in transit fares);childcare costs rose by $25/month, increases in food prices added another $17/month and MSP premiums rose by 4 per cent (with another 4 percent increase slated for 2014).
Low wages are also a key contributor to child poverty in B.C.,where almost half of the province’s poor children (43%) live in families with at least one adul working full-time year-round and many others live in families where caregivers have only ‘some’ paid work (part-year or part-time).
Some of the media coverage on the issue to date:
The Province – New B.C. Government Should Promote a Living Wage
The Times Colonist – Public Policy Must Address Living Wage Shortfall
The Tyee- Living Wage Increases – But Parties Avoid Wage Promises