Hourly wage needed to cover basic costs for some has dropped

VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) – For the first time since they started crunching the numbers eight years ago, the hourly wage you need to cover all the basics like food and housing for a family of four in Metro Vancouver has gone down. And advocates for the poor are giving the federal government the credit.

The decrease isn’t much, just four cents from $20.68 to $20.64, but Deanna Ogle with the Living Wage for Families Campaign says every little bit helps when you’re raising a family.

“The decrease of the living wage is entirely due to the expansion of the Canada Child Benefit and this is in spite of rising costs for families in Vancouver, as most families are very aware that many of the expenses that they face on a daily basis are increasing.”

Ogle explains child care and housing are the two biggest costs when the living wage calculation is broken down. She adds child care rose by $32 per month, while rent was up by $75. These numbers are according to a report published by the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives.
While Ottawa is getting kudos, Ogle adds the provincial government isn’t doing nearly enough. She says introducing a $10 a day childcare program would help.

“Without the provincial government stepping up as an equal partner, we see that federal policies can only help balance out rising costs. BC is the only province in Canada without a poverty reduction plan. Families are counting on the provincial government to do better.”

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