The BC government held its public consultation for the 2020 Budget in June this year. The Living Wage for Families Campaign has eight recommendations, focused in three areas: higher wages and income supports that meet the cost of living, expanded affordable child care, and more investment in high-expense areas for all family types including those without children.
While the provincial government has taken a number of actions in recent years to reduce poverty, more can be done to ensure all British Columbians have a good quality of life. Our recommendations in this consultation highlight several ways to build upon these successes in Budget 2020:
- Implement a living wage policy for all direct and contracted provincial government staff.
- Establish a permanent Fair Wages Commission.
- Continue to raise the minimum wage with regular, predictable increases until it meets the cost of living, and then index future increases annually.
- Increase income and disability assistance rates to bring them in line with living expenses, and index them to inflation.
- Implement $10-a-day child care across BC.
- Protect and expand affordable housing stock, and implement vacancy control for renters.
- Implement province-wide free public transit for children and youth under 19 and a sliding scale monthly pass for adults based on income, as called for by the AllOnBoard campaign.
- Improve affordability for post-secondary students.