Greater Victoria workers need to make nearly $19 hourly just to get by and support basic services for their family, according to the Community Social Planning Council.
The quality of life watchdog pegs the living wage for 2014 at $18.93, up from $18.73 last year.
“The living wage calls on employers to pay wages that reflect the actual costs of living in our community, and policymakers to step up to the plate to protect affordability for everyone,” said Rupert Downing, executive director of the Community Social Planning Council.
Childcare and Medical Service Plan payments are the two most significant cost increases this year, Downing said. Child care costs rose by $39 monthly (a 3.5 per cent increase), while MSP premiums went up by 4.1 per cent.
Other family budget increases were clothing and footwear, education and non-MSP healthcare expenses.
The living wage is calculated as the hourly rate needed by two full-time earners with two young children to meet basic expenses like rent, childcare, food and transportation after government taxes, credits, deductions and subsidies are taken into account.
More than 30 B.C. companies have committed to paying employees the living wage since the Community Social Planning Council began tracking the indicators in 2008.
The organization continues to lobby other Greater Victoria businesses who wish to make a similar commitment.
For more information and a list of partner employers, visit communitycouncil.ca or view the report here.