The Living Wage for Families Campaign made a submission to the provincial government to inform their 2019 Budget.
Every year, the government's Select Standing Committee on Finance and Government Services holds a public consultation where stakeholders and individuals can submit ideas for the next year's budget.
The Living Wage for Families Campaign made a submission focusing on reducing poverty and improving quality of life for BC families. Our recommendations are:
- Index future minimum wage increases annually, guided by a clear and independent rationale.
- Commit to pay a living wage to all provincial government direct and contracted staff.
- Redesign BC’s Early Childhood Tax Benefit to reach more children.
- Redesign the BC Early Childhood Tax Benefit into a BC Child Benefit that covers children under 18, increase the maximum benefit to $1,320 per child per year, and index it annually to the cost of living.
- Ensure that households with an annual net income of up to $80,000 receive the full, increased child benefit and phase out the benefit for households with annual net incomes above $100,000.
- Implement a poverty reduction plan that is accountable, bold, and comprehensive. This plan would include the above recommendations, and would also:
- Within two years, ensure that every British Columbian has an income that reaches at least 75% of the poverty line.
- Increase income supports, including welfare and disability rates, and index them to inflation.
- Tie rent control to the unit (not the tenant), and build and protect affordable social and rental housing.
- Provide universal, high quality, and publicly-funded child care.
- Implement a progressive plan to replace MSP revenue and ensure public health care services are not impacted.
- Waive individual MSP debt and cancel individual matters that are currently in collections.
- Replace the foregone MSP revenue with a combination of personal and business taxes.
- Ensure that no overall provincial revenue is lost as a result of the end of MSP fees to ensure that public health care services are not negatively affected.
Our recommendations recognize that poverty, inequality, and quality of life are inextricably linked. We ask the provincial government to prioritize and adequately resource initiatives that will allow British Columbians to live and thrive in their communities.
To read more about our recommendations, click here.