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

Victoria Day Parade returns to celebrate 120 years

F18 Hornets to honour #HumboldtStrong with first ever fly past, kicking off parade

Preserving Victoria’s character buildings costly, but worth it

Pemberton and Son recognized for heritage preservation of Promis Block

Comics through the years at Sidney Museum

Exhibit showcases the golden age of comics to the present

Sidney fundraiser helping kids fight diabetes

Nicola Politano organizing May 26 dance at the air cadet hall

‘ALR golf courses should return to farming,’ says ex-ALC chair Frank Leonard

Former mayor says Saanich could appeal Cedar Hill Golf Course application

VIDEO: Canadian Forces help flood-ravaged Grand Forks residents heal

Sgt. Bradley Lowes says the military is used to dealing with traumatic times

Friends and family playing huge role in search for Vancouver Island man

Volunteers from the public join forces with SAR crews

Las Vegas Golden Knights move on to Stanley Cup final

Improbable run continues for NHL’s newest expansion team

Oregon’s flooded recreational pot market a cautionary tale to B.C.

‘In a broader sense, we are adding legal production to an already robust illegal production’

Watch: Saved from highway harm, ducklings waddle into Swan Lake

Saanich Pound rescue, release ducklings in cute video

New bike rental service rolls into Saanich

TapBike available at a few spots around region, including the Days Inn and Howard Johnson in Saanich

Central Vancouver Island man dies in single-vehicle collision

Pickup truck with three occupants went off the road near Port Alberni

UPDATED: Majority of flood evacuees in Kootenay-Boundary allowed to return home

Officials hope to have all 3,000 people back in their homes by Monday night

B.C. Lions bring back 6-time all-star offensive lineman Jovan Olafioye

He was acquired by the Montreal Alouettes last year.

Most Read