The cost of living has increased, but the Living Wage has decreased (marginally) for the second year.
A report released in late April finds that the wage needed to cover the costs of raising a family in Greater Victoria is $20.01 per hour. The decrease is partially due to the introduction of the Canada Child Benefit and partially by the increase of the maximum amount parents can claim for child care expenses federally.
While this decrease shows the power of policy in lowering living costs for families, the Living Wage for the capital region still demonstrates that the cost of living continues to be high and that families feel like they are not getting ahead.
Approximately 16% of children in the capital region live in families experiencing poverty.
Read the full 2017 Living Wage report here.
What is the Living Wage?
The Living Wage Rate reflects the real costs of living through the hourly wage required to enjoy an adequate quality of life in our region. The Community Social Planning Council of Greater Victoria calculates and releases this number each year, based on the best data available about costs in our region.
In 2017, the wage required to maintain an adequate quality of life in BC’s Capital Region is calculated at $20.01 per hour.
When we look behind the number to see the costs that drive that required wage rate, we have an opportunity to engage our community in dialogue around strategies to prevent and reduce poverty. Our region’s affordability, especially the high costs of housing, childcare, and health care, affects our ability to sustain a healthy and vibrant economy and community.
Working poverty is a Canada-wide issue. Over 50 communities across the country, including 21 in BC, have active living wage campaigns and are advocating to improve quality of life for low-wage workers.
About the initiative
BC has one of the highest poverty rates in the country.
With a high cost of living, far too many British Columbians find it difficult to make ends meet. Many households must make tough choices every month about their household spending priorities – pay the heating bill or buy new shoes for the kids, buy groceries or pay the rent.
British Columbia now has the second highest child poverty rate in the country with low wages as one of the key contributors to child poverty in BC.
The number of households facing an affordability challenge in the Capital Region continues to rise.
The Living Wage, calculated and released each year by the Community Social Planning Council, reflects the real costs of living through the hourly wage required to enjoy an adequate quality of life in our region. When we look behind the number to see the costs that drive that required wage up or down, we have an opportunity to engage our community in dialogue around strategies to prevent and reduce poverty.
Our region’s affordability, especially the high costs of housing, childcare, and transportation, affects our ability to attract and retain staff and sustain a healthy and vibrant economy and community.