Greater Victoria’s living wage now costs $20.50 an hour

Cost of living increase drives region’s living wage up 49 cents, leaving you able to afford only one latte per year

If the average family of four had two parents earning $20.50 an hour full time, at the end of the year they’d have enough savings to buy one latte.

This living wage estimate is calculated by the Community Social Planning Council of Greater Victoria, and uses a model of two full-time working parents with two children, aged seven and four, to calculate the minimum income required to meet the most basic needs.

With two people making $20.50 an hour, such a family could pay for basic shelter, clothing, food, transportation and medical expenses, as well as two weeks of sick leave. Without any other income or outside help, they would not be able to afford to save for their children’s post-secondary education, their own retirement, to pay off debt or care for an elderly relative.

RELATED: B.C.’s living wage increase curbed due to MSP cuts, child care subsidy: report

The Council’s annual report, released Wednesday, put the region’s living wage at $0.49 more than in 2017. The highest costs attributed to shelter and child care, which made up more than 50 per cent of expenses. After all other costs were calculated, an average family would have $6.18 in savings by the end of the year.

“We need to see changes in government. We need to look at measures to increase the supply in affordable housing options and improve the costs of child care,” said Council research manager Stefanie Hardman. “They are the two largest expenses, and any measures that could help alleviate those would help parents struggling with a living wage.”

READ: B.C. to give municipalities final say over rental zoning

Recent changes announced in the provincial budget, such as a slash in MSP rates and the introduction of a Child Care Fee Reduction program are examples of social policies that could make a difference. However, the report notes that child care costs presently reach $15,210 per year for two children in care – including the $900 in savings from the fee reduction program.

“I think seeing how inadequate our minimum wage is, it’s really stark,” Hardman said. “We need to take further action and stronger initiatives to make this happen.”

Some employers combat poverty by joining the Living Wage Employer program, which guarantees their employees and contract staff the living wage of their region. However, without further changes in social policies, Hardman said, the living wage is only going to increase next year.

For more information on the report, visit livingwageforfamilies.ca

nicole.crescenzi@vicnews.com

 

A breakdown of living wage increases in Greater Victoria. GRAPHIC CONTRIBUTED

A breakdown of the calculations for a living wage in Greater Victoria. GRAPHIC CONTRIBUTED

Just Posted

Delayed grant decisions could send new Crystal Pool costs soaring

Delays could cost the City of Victoria up to $500,000/month more in construction costs

Campfire ban coming into effect across West Coast

The Coastal Fire Centre says bans will begin on Wednesday

UPDATE: Woman hit by car in parking lot 93 years old

Driver of sedan backs into older adult walking through lot

Stolen West Shore vehicle found in ocean off Oak Bay

SUV was submerged 90 feet from shore at Cattle Point

Delivery truck downs power lines in Sidney

A tractor trailer delivering eggs clipped a low-hanging wire on Second St.… Continue reading

Trudeau asks transport minister to tackle Greyhound’s western pullout

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says he’s asked Transport Minister Marc Garneau to find solutions in Greyhound Canada’s absence.

Hub for mental health and addictions treatment opens at B.C. hospital

St. Paul’s Hospital HUB is an acute medical unit that includes 10 patient beds

Saanich Police investigate store robbery

Store video captures image of suspect

Restaurant Brands International to review policy over poaching employees

One of Canada’s largest fast-food company to review ‘no-poach’ franchise agreements

Calgary family’s vacation ends in tragedy on Texas highway

Three people died and four others were injured in the crash

Union construction cost competitive, B.C. Building Trades say

Non-union firms can bid on infrastructure, but employees have to join international unions

Trudeau to shuffle cabinet ahead of Liberals’ team for 2019

Trudeau could lighten the work loads of cabinet ministers who currently oversee more than one portfolio

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers wanted list for the week of July 17

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

Car calls 911 on possible impaired B.C. driver

A luxury car automatically calls Princeton police to scene of crash involving alcohol

Most Read